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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR AUGUST

Remnants of Gulf hurricane, heavy rain in the southern part of the region (1,2,3) with hot and humid weather (4,5,6); STORMS (7,8) followed by the 3 H’s – hazy, hot, and humid (9,10,11,12,13); Atlantic hurricane, heavy rain, severe STORMS  (14,15,16,17) turning hot and humid again (18,19,20,21,22). Periods of STORMS, mainly in the south (23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31).  

MONTHLY GARDEN ACTIVITIES


BEST DAYS FOR FARM ACTIVITIES 

                                                       


THOUGHT FOR TODAY'S 

LIVING  


"The wise man often says little while observing much; the fool observes little while talking a lot” 

                                                                                      John Gruber  (1768-1857) 

THE INTERNET CONNECTION

W

ork-at-home scams are on the rise as the Internet continues to reach us every day offering new opportunities. Protect yourself by never replying to an unsolicited E-mail about a work-at-home opportunity.   Be very skeptical of big promises or large salaries of $500 or more a week.  Before sending any money or personal details, get printed information about the business or check out the company with the National Consumer’s League’s National Fraud Information Center (800.876.7060 or on the web at www.fraud.org).  Also check with the Better Business Bureau or the State Attorney General of your state.

PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER

     To protect your expensive computer and hardware peripherals form power surges and weather-related power outages, purchase a surge protector.  Priced from $25-35, some brands offer guaranteed lightening protection.  Be safe….at the first sign of severe or threatening weather, unplug all connections.  High voltage can enter your computer through the telephone line connected to the computer’s modem so be sure to check if the surge protector can protect that line too.   The protector should have an indicator light so you know when you experienced a surge.   The best way to protect yourself is with an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) that uses battery power to keep the computer and peripherals running for a short time after the power goes out.  Cost for a good UPS is around $75.

STOP UNWANTED AND ANNOYING EMAIL

     Unsolicited E-mail or more commonly known as "spam”, accounts for about 65% of all E-mail today and the average users spends over 25 hours a year deleting it all!  Spammers are usually individuals or marketers who send out millions of advertisements a day, literally swamping every Internet Service Provider (ISP) with E-mail.  They use lists of E-mail addresses that they have purchased or rented from other companies you may have dealt with in the past.  Others develop programs to sniff out chat rooms and newsgroup sites to and capture millions of addresses. Most work for legitimate companies that pay on commission for every actual lead that may result and always allows you to opt-out of future E-mails.  Illegitimate marketers don’t follow the opt-out rule but instead try to prevent you from recognizing their message and blocking it.  They use fake return E-mail addresses and put unrelated topics in the subject line.  

SPAM DEFENSE

     Your main line of defense is to maintain two E-mail addresses.  Your primary one should be used when corresponding with business associates, friends, and family members and the other used when surfing the web, chatting, or dealing with companies or sites that do not maintain privacy policies.  

     If asked, never allow your ISP to post your information in a members directory.  You can use a mailbox filter that will search against content for certain keywords (i.e. mortgage, drugs, free money, etc.) and delete messages before accepting them.
Anti-Sam software products are available that work well to further insulate you.  The best is McAffee Internet Security Suite 6.0 priced at $69.95. 

WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING

     Federal laws have been passed and have recently gone into effect.  It is now unlawful to send unsolicited E-mails with false return addresses and misleading subject lines, collect addresses off websites or fail to offer an option to op-out of further communication.  The penalties could be as high as $11,000 per offense with jail time almost a certainty.

     The US Attorney General has recently stated that many federal and state law enforcement agencies have arrested, charged, and convicted hundreds of  people of junk E-mail, identify theft and on-line scams since the laws went into effect in mid-2003.