Once you have ventured far enough into the Internet jungle, encountered and successfully survived meeting several lions, tigers, bears and sneaky snakes, the next thing you have to worry about are the (gasp!) cannibals!
When you first meet a cannibal, he will look, speak and act just like any other normal Internet business person. There won’t be a bone stuck through his nose. He won’t be carrying a spear or poison darts. He will be carrying….are you ready for this?……Software! That’s right….I said…Software.
These cannibals have a particular fondness for newbies. They are easier marks than those who have been successfully living and thriving in the Internet jungle for awhile. Newbies aren’t near as apt to ask the right questions before being bullied into purchasing software.
I’m sorry to say that newbies easily become software junkies. The become addicted to the stuff. If you show a newbie a piece of software that promises to lighten his work load or make him more successful or make his computer run better or faster, he is almost always interested. The Cannibals know this….they depend on it.
You, as a newbie, must recognize your software addiction and try to control it. It can not only cost you a ton of money, it can be downright dangerous.
Do you know what the acronym TUS stands for? You don’t? I’ll tell you. It stands for Totally Useless Software (TUS)…and the jungle is full of cannibals pushing it.
You DO need some software programs…there isn’t any doubt about it. For example: You must have some kind of word processing program on your computer. The software that supplies this word processing ability, however, can be so bloated with un-needed features that all it does is eat up your computer resources. You will have paid a lot of bucks out for features that you do not need now and will most likely never need. The basic software is useless but the glut of added features makes most of it totally useless.
You can spend a lot of money on software that just simply won’t help you to achieve your goals. You can even spend real hard-earned money on such foolishness as singing happy faces….no kidding.
You can buy software that will supply you with line charts, graphs, pie charts, etc. that have absolutely no discernable use. They might look really impressive but they don’t mean anything.
But, hey, you might like a lava lamp icon on your task bar. Or, maybe you believe that there is software out there that can keep the evil spirits from invading your computer. If you do, maybe you should consider another line of work.
Besides TUS there are cannibals that will try to sell you pirated software. Everybody loves a bargain! There are no two ways about it…deep discounts are very, very attractive. This is another thing that the cannibals are well aware of.
Many very useful and needed pieces of software are often pirated. Programs like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word are particularly vulnerable. It is illegal to sell pirated software but it is equally illegal to buy pirated software if you can reasonably believe that it has been pirated or stolen.
Here are a list of things that can help you determine if the jungle cannibals are trying to sell stolen software:
Check the price of the software on the website of the manufacturer. If the price that you are being offered is way out of line with what the manufacturer is charging, it is a pretty safe bet that you are being asked to buy stolen software. Don’t.
If you agree to buy a piece of software…the price seems to be in line…but you get to the seller’s sales and service page and are asked to forego your right to a chargeback claim on your credit card, do not complete the sale. You should always have the right to protest a sale and you never want to give up that right.
Each manufacturer of a legitimate software product places an embedded code in the software. You are very likely being asked to purchase stolen software if you are instructed to use a special number or a different procedure to activate the software.
If you buy a piece of software and are sent a disc to install it on your computer and on the disc you see either NFR or OEM, it was stolen. NFR means, Not For Resale. This is most often stamped on a beta product version. OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. This code is stamped on software that is included in the purchase of a new computer.
All legitimate software can be registered. If the seller of the software tells you that it cannot be registered, you can bet that it was stolen. You are not a criminal but if you buy software that you know has been stolen, you can become a criminal. Receiving stolen property is a crime in all fifty states and in most civilized countries in the world. Don’t!
Those who sell legitimate software will always supply you with their names, addresses and telephone numbers. They have nothing to hide. Those who are selling stolen or pirated software will not provide you with their real names, real addresses or real telephone numbers….and their email addresses are changed daily…or more frequently.
All legitimate software manufacturers and retailers will give you a written warranty. They will also have a very fair refund policy. The crooks will offer neither.
We’ve discussed what SPAM is. It is a bulk email that you receive that you have not asked for. Legitimate software manufacturers and retailers do not engage in the illegal act of sending SPAM. If you get an offer for a piece of software at a ridiculously low price and that offer arrives in your inbox as SPAM. Hit the delete button and forget about it.
If you order a piece of software at a really low price, pay for it, and it never shows up in your mail box or you don’t receive the download instructions forthwith, that is the best of the bad things that can happen to you.
In the last chapter we talked about phishing and pharming briefly. Bogus software or stolen software or Totally Useless Software is the preferred method of cannibals to have you for lunch. These pieces of software very often contain malicious codes for the purpose of either phishing or pharming.
If you go to a website where bogus software is being sold, put in your personal information (including your credit card information), you will have been the victim of a phishing scam. Do you want to try to guess what will happen to that information that you supplied while you were looking for such a bargain? It won’t be good, I can tell you that. You won’t know who has your information or what they are going to do with it.
Pharming can be accomplished by these cannibals by embedding information into a disc or a download that can accomplish their evil plans for you. You can find that your computer no longer does what you tell it to do…you can be redirected to sites that can take information right out of your hard drive and then use it in any way they want to.
The bottom line of all this information is, that, yes, you do need software. Software makes the computers go round. It’s what allows you to be creative and productive. BUT…you need no more than you NEED and that needs to be purchased from the manufacturers or from legitimate retailers even if you do have to pay more for it.
It is easy to become a software junkie. There is, after all, some really cool software out there and software is what makes your computer of more useful. The good software makes you better able to produce the work that you must produce in order to be a successful online employee or a successful online business owner. We all need software.
Before you actually purchase any software, however, you need to ask yourself three questions and you need to answer yourself honestly:
Is this piece of software something that I actually need? If the software will provide you with the ability to do your required work faster or make your job easier, then it is good software for you. If all the software is going to do is take up resources on your computer and slow it down without providing any real benefits for you, then it is TUS (Totally Useless Software). If the software is bloated with features that you will never use, you should look for a simpler or even older version. Added features eat up resources and slow your computer down.
Is the price I am paying in line with the prices charged by the manufacturer or legitimate retailers of this software? This really is important. Receiving stolen goods is a crime.
Think of it like this: If someone offered to sell you a Rolex watch for $29.95, you would immediately know that the watch was either not a real Rolex or that is was hotter than a two dollar pistol.
You wouldn’t be foolish enough to spend $30 on a fake watch and you sure wouldn’t want to be guilty of receiving stolen merchandise…so either way…you would walk away. That same thing is true of software. If the price is too low, the software is either bogus or hot.
Is there a sufficient satisfaction guarantee? There are those super-duper-60-day-wonder salesmen out there that pride themselves on being able to sell ice boxes to Eskimos. They will make wild promises or jump through hoops just to make a sale.
Don’t get suckered in….read the fine print!
You should never buy any piece of software that does not come with a guarantee. This guarantee should cover more than the fact that the software will work…it should also guarantee that if the software doesn’t work for YOU that you can return it and get your money back.