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Privacy Parasites - Web Bugs

Privacy Parasites - Web Bugs

Thousands of small business webmasters briefly lose their domain names at expiration, due to a simple lack of understanding about the roles of three key players in the drama: domain name registrars, web hosts and internet service providers. Fortunately for most, they learn quickly how to save their web site from oblivion by using the 30 day redemption period for expired domain names enforced by ICANN. One simple solution is to extend domain registration for the maximum ten years. The other solution is to treat domain registrar data as the critical business element it is.

Search the WHOIS database to see who your Registrar is on your business domain! Transfer your domain name to take advantage of our lower prices.

I Can't Remember Where I Purchased My Domain Name!

It wasn't until my third client had called asking how to regain control of her domain name that I realized that it was a common problem for small business webmasters to forget where they had registered their domains. WHOIS my registrar? Why didn't I get an email about renewal? Why did my site stop working today?

People rarely realize how important it is to keep their domain registrar notified of changes to their email address and and other contact information. The registrar will send renewal notifications to the email address last on file. For most domain owners, the only time they think about contacting a registrar is the day they reserve their domain name. If they move to a new city and get a new internet service provider, it doesn't occur to them that the old email address will change and that meeans that the registrar can no longer contact them through the previous address, or phone or fax as each of them change and we rarely notify the controller of our domain of those changes.

Sometimes the first indication a business owner will have that there is a problem is the day their web site stops working. If they failed to notify their domain registrar of changed email address, they may never have received their domain renewal notice. Since many registrars honor a 30 day "redemption period" allowing expired domains to be redeemed, it may be possible to save the registration within 30 days following expiration by contacting registrars during 30 day domain redemption periods.

The following URL leads to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (AKA ICANN) discussing the grace period and redemption period rules it enforces.


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This Privacy Stuff is Really Bugging Me!
by Mike Banks Valentine

There is a nasty little privacy parasite loose on your computer. You get it by visiting web sites with "bugs" on them. Typically served by ad tracking, affiliate tracking and even email tracking companies to measure the effectiveness of their ads, track their visitors and find out when you open their email. Web bugs are tiny, invisible 1 pixel by 1 pixel graphic files that notify a third party web site when a page, an ad or an email is viewed.

Now if you've joined an affiliate program through any of the major affiliate tracking companies, you have probably even put these bugs on your own pages without knowing what you've done. They come in the HTML code you are given to paste into your page by Commission Junction or LinkShare or BeFree networks and LinkExchange to track your visitors so you can be paid your affiliate commissions.

You'll see on the link code something like this

This is actually the WebSite101 code for our affiliate link to eHealthInsurance.com and is required by their affiliate program. This is a "good" use of web bugs to track commission payments to affiliates. It allows the host to track exactly what web page was visited by the surfer and when so that affiliate links can be tracked from their source.

The "bad" bugs are those used by ad servers to track which advertisements are viewed by surfers and combine it with other information stored about that surfer at other web sites. There are bugs included in HTML email -- those messages that include graphics, fonts and page color in the messages -- to see when the email was opened and can even tell where on your hard drive that email is stored, when it was viewed, how long it was open and if the links are clicked on.

"Bad" bugs are used by nefarious sites to collect information from your hard drive and pass it back to their server without your knowledge. This is done in combination with cookies to send information about your surfing habits to third parties, also without your knowledge. For more about cookies visit:


Some of these nasty little critters can even be used from web pages or within your email to install "executable bugs," which can install a file onto your hard drive to collect information whenever you are online. For example, one such bug can scan a hard drive to send information on every document that contains the word "financial."

More on Web Bugs . . .


Fortunately there is a new software available for Windows users called


which is provided as freeware by the

Privacy Foundation.

The software is designed as a browser plug-in to notify you when a page you visit is a security risk, or simply if the page contains web bugs. They are working on a version that will notify you of bugs in your email.

Call the exterminator honey, we've got bugs in the PC!


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Check to see if YOUR Domain Name is available by typing it into the search box directly below (choose from .com, .net, .org, .info, biz and .us domains). There is no charge to check availability of domains, but if you decide to purchase your domain name now, our pricing starts at only $7.95 - The lowest price you'll find for single year registrations! Compare our prices here! or you can Search the WHOIS database to see who owns any domain! If you want to transfer to take advantage of our lower prices, transfer your domain name.


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