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"Exciting, Neat Net Tricks!"

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4/4/08 Interview with Jack Teems

Neat Net Tricks
3786 Plaza de la Yerba
Sierra Vista, AZ 85650

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How Teems Started His Service

  1. 1. About 13 years ago, some asked Teems to post a few tips on his web site for them to access; then they asked that the tips be sent by email; the tips were useful, and the email got spread around; distribution soon jumped to about 100,000 subscribers from 145 countries.
  2. 2. Teems screens sites to sort out those that are useful from those that are ridiculous; his newsletter is now going out to readers twice a month.
Computer Security

  1. 1. The prevalence of infections online is so widespread that an unprotected computer will last only about 20 minutes; good free anti-virus software is available; Teems prefers AVG or AVIRA—both have a paid version, but the free version is entirely adequate; for free firewall protection, he likes Zone Alarm; a second choice is Comodo.
  2. 2. Spyware does not generally damage a computer as much as a virus, but it attempts to track the computer user’s surfing habits and directs pfishing attempts to the computer, which slows your resources.
  3. 3. Counter Spy and Spy Sweeper are products that protect against spyware, but a Google search will find numerous others.
  4. 4. To be effective, anti-virus and anti-spyware have to be kept updated; it is also prudent to regularly (daily or weekly) run checks on your computer for spyware and viruses.
  5. 5. A more extreme protection is to surf anonymously; among free, anonymous proxy services are AllowU, the Cloak and Invisible Me; by going into stealth mode through these sites, you can avoid getting cookies, hacking attempts and spyware, but the strategy slows down searching.
Setting Up Protection

  1. 1. The first line of defense is a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware—these should be installed immediately when setting up a new computer.
  2. 2. Microsoft has a built-in firewall in WindowsXP and Vista operating systems, but the firewall only protects one way—you need a two-way firewall that protects as you send traffic out as well as while you receive.
  3. 3. Some protective software slows down a computer; most of the online anti-virus, anti-spyware checkers slow you down during the actual scanning process, but scans can be set to occur at a time when you are not online.
  4. 4. Before downloading other software, you will usually be directed to disable your anti-virus first because there could be a conflict with the installation process—remember to re-enable the anti-virus as soon as the installation is complete.
Crime Stoppers

  1. 1. FindMyCreditCard can be used to find and erase any personal information on your computer, such as credit card data and login information; it is surprising how much compromising identity information can accumulate on your hard drive.
  2. 2. Craig’s Number [now Numbr] is a resource to avoid using your own telephone number; you get a temporary number for your email or advertisements that can be alive for an hour, day or week; the service forwards messages to your real number.
  3. 3. FelonSpy lets you check your neighborhood for people with criminal records; type in your address, and a map is displayed showing where criminals reside in your area; Teems is not certain of how legitimate this search site is.
Free vs. Paid

Nearly all of Teem’s recommendations are free; often there is a paid option, but usually the free version is sufficient; there are many good free programs available—software developers typically create a free service as an ego project to keep their name in front of the public.

Mail and Email Tricks

  1. 1. If you travel a lot, RemoteControlMail will accept your forwarded snail mail, scan the envelope to send to you by email wait for your directions; the service will shred junk mail; open, scan and email contents to you; or archive the piece; this product is NOT free—it starts around $12.50.
  2. 2. Using a constant address increases the amount of spam you receive; throw-away email programs help you avoid getting on spam lists by varying your email address; while you are using a throw-away address, messages are forwarded to you; after a certain period, the temporary email address ceases to exist; a number of sources offer this.
  3. 3. DidTheyReadIt provides feedback on whether your email messages get opened; once you subscribe to the service, you enter the recipient’s address with the extension””—the extension does not show to the recipient.
  4. 4. DidTheyReadIt notifies you by return email when, where and how long your email was opened; the service tracks the message being forwarded as well; a trial is free, and a subscription costs about $50 a year.
  5. 5. LinkBlip is a similar service that tracks links to email messages; it is possible to attach a self-destruct message to email that causes it to disappear without a trace after 60 seconds of viewing.
  6. 6. Fuser is a site that can check all your email accounts and social networks and combine messages in one place, handy for people on the road.
Travel Tips

  1. 1. AirportParking is a useful service that provides parking rates, directions and user comments on about 400 US airport parking lots.
  2. 2. MileByMile navigates highways and byways, highlights points of interest and shows photos of the route; to use the service, you must have Internet access as you drive.
  3. 3. TelePixie provides wake-up calls and reminders.
  4. 4. AAA has opened its TripTik service free to the public; it is rated by Road Trip America as the #1 road trip planner available.
  5. 5. If your thumbdrive is stolen, ihound will track down the illegal user.
Neat Net Tricks

  1. 1. Teems’ twice monthly newsletter has about a dozen or more tips in each issue; a follow-up article provides detail; find information at his web site.
  2. 2. Listeners can sign up for a free 3-month trial subscription by emailing Jack Teems and referencing “real estate.”
Contact Information for Jack Teems:

(v) 520-803-9092

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Neat Net Tricks:
Free anti-virus software: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition ( ); AVIRA AntiVir ( )
Firewall protection:
Anti-spyware: Counter Spy ( ); SpySweeper ( )
Anonymous proxy services: Invisible Me
Identity protection product: FindMyCreditCard.exe
Craig’s Number [now Numbr]
Email tracking:
Email checking:
Travel aids: