Question of the Week

Question of the Week

Question of the Week

Question of the Week 6/22/06



“With identity theft a real problem, should I use my picture?”  Frank from Michigan


I get this question on a regular basis.  I also get the question “Should I leave a public message to tell others about my online identity?”  I’m writing today’s question specifically for Frank from Michigan.


Let’s Begin


Dear Frank,


Should you decide to answer the question I pose to you, please don’t use your real name.  You can use your initials instead.  Also, I recommend that you don’t put your picture on your web site.  Again, don’t add your picture to your profile.  This is more than likely going to result in you getting grief fromclients and salespeople, and it might also get you a few unwanted offers.  Also, if you do answer the question and put your picture up, please don’t post it on your blog or social networking sites (face book, myspace, twitter, etc).  Please use a minimal amount of pictures and content to begin with.  The more you share now, the less likely it is that you’ll need to use it later.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten this question in the last few days.  Here’s the answer. Question of the WeekQuestion of the WeekQuestion of the WeekQuestion of the WeekQuestion of the WeekQuestion of the WeekQuestion of the Week


No.  You can’t tell anyone anywhere online your name, full address, age, gender, employer, income, whether you’re married or single, whether you’re married or single with children, whether you’re married or single with grandchildren, and even whether you’re married or single with pets.  You can’t even tell someone how old you are.  Or whether you’re married.  You can tell someone how much money you make.  But not your exact home address.  If you live in a neighborhood with 10,000 houses, you could be tagging along with someone who’s planning on crashing your party.


Tag along? Bring Your Friends To Your Parties


It’s true that in some ways, it’s good to be a bit vain.  “Being young, attractive and friendless” certainly seems to be a neat tactic for attractingively self-involved people.  But the problem is that when you’re misusing your profile to arrange that meets, you’re also inviting unwanted attention to your main account.  If you’ve allowed your profile to be used for other purposes, (such as announcing life! , etc.) you have to therefore author make sure that things have changed.  You can respond to forum posts ignoring the advice of posting two pictures and write a one-sentence introduction to your profile.


It gets better.  My main desktop monitor is a 50″ plasma Television.  I’ve seen a few movies on it.  You can connect to the Internet via an always-on DVD player.  Yet, twice, in the last year, I’ve spent several hours trying to track down someone who’d been spamming me.  The third time, they were gone by morning.  I knew it was a scam.


Tip No5: If it’s Too Good to be True, It Probably Is


lieething that’s been passed around online for years.  If you receive special offers or coupons from any company, in most cases, it’s because they really believe in what they’re selling.  They’re not selling “Brighton Beach Suites” for two pounds ten shillings, they’re selling cruise ships for a sightseeing cruise and the latest fashion from the latestIBLE fashion designers.


It’s part of their jobs.  If you go to an eBay seller’s site and find something there worth bidding on, you’re probably dealing with a slightly shady company.  Remember they receive payments from their clients, and sometimes even make payments to the sellers to handle the payments.  It’s only rare that the clients go back on their word.


Tip No6: Word of mouth is MORE important than seeing to it that payment is received on time


The fact is that if you have a payment processor on your account, whether or not you collect money orders, credit card or Union payments, you will want to keep that payment system up and running.  If you don’t, you are asking for trouble.  Remember that.


Union payments are sent via Checks – and fromages, ifpaid in cash, can be viewed byScanning Servicesand could be challenged as being counterfeit.


Credit Card payments are sent in seconds via many processors.


And, so it is up to you, the seller, to demonstration that your company is reliable by clicking a button and sending your customer his/her payment.


Furthermore, you have a right to dispute a transaction on your account within the first thirty days.


What else can be done to help you stay clear of disputes?

Question of the Week