Ads online – you have a choice

The internet is full of ads. There is no escaping that fact that despite it being a free web, the word ‘free’ probably means you will have to put up with an awful lot of adverts. People who work online have to make a living, and ads is one of the most popular ways to do so – fair enough.

Sometimes you have to accept that we need ads to help keep so many free services on the internet running; information on blogs, free emails, forums and search engines just to name a few.

Many people believe that the ads are there, and that is the way it is going to stay. Useless information will get in your way when you are looking for useful content, but that is not entirely correct.

Advertisers advertise, ultimately because they want to boost their or their business or organisations income. Advertisements may drive sales, increase donations, raise awareness, promote a brand, offer freebies, or do a whole number of other things.

Most consumers (that’s people like you and me) think that adverts are an inconvenience, but need they be?

Advertisers are now getting clever, cookies are being used to track what you look at online, and are then used to present you with ads that are relevant to you, which you might actually find interesting.

Many people may find that a daunting prospect. Advertisers are collecting information about me in order to try to ‘improve my ad experience’ and at the end of the day get me to spend more money. Is that right?

Enter AdChoices.

The AdChoices IconThe Digital Advertising Alliance have founded a site called Your AdChoices, which gives you information about the choices you have about the adverts that you see whilst browsing the internet.

Would you rather the ads that you see online were relevant to you, or random? Now, for the first time, you have the ability to choose.

Hundreds of advertising hosts now use AdChoices, to let you personalise the way you view the web. Google, AOL, Adobe, Disney, Kraft, Microsoft, News Corp and Yahoo are just some of the big names that participate in the AdChoices scheme.

Here is an extract from the AdChoices website:

“The Advertising Option Icon gives you transparency and control for
interest-based ads:

  • Find out when information about your online interests is being gathered or used to customize the Web ads you see.
  • Choose whether to continue to allow this type of advertising.”

Still not understanding the concept? See if watching this video helps.

So you have a choice. You can choose to receive personalised ads, which could potentially improve your browsing experience, or you could choose to opt out. Your choice.

For more information, or to opt out, head over to YourAdChoices.com.

Sometimes, Technology Bloggers writers will choose to display an AdSense Ad in there articles. These all have the AdChoices button on them. I rarely add one, but for your interest, look below. Can you see the ‘i’?


What will you do, opt out or stay in? Do you think it is good that we are now offered personalised ads, or is it an invasion of privacy?

With regard to personalised ads I am undecided, but am slowly warming to the idea.

How to find images for your website

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a DIY approach to building your website. If you choose the right tools *cough* WordPress *cough* you can produce something that looks very professional without having to know web design in an out.

As with Creative Commons images, always check the usage rights of every image cautiously. You might be required to credit the photographer, or use may be forbidden in some situations.

Creative Commons Logo

Purchase cheap stock photography

It is all well and good looking for free pictures, but it’s often easier to invest a small amount of cash than to spend hours finding the right totally free image.

That is where websites like iStock Photo and ShutterStock come in. These vast repositories include thousands of pictures, most of which you can buy for just a few pounds. Sure, they can be frustratingly clichéd at times, but a bit of experimentation with what you search for can generally get outcomes. Expect to pay from £1 upwards for each image.

Ask permission

This is most likely your best option if you are looking for an image of a current occasion or specific individual to use with an article or blog post on your web site. Amateur photographers are often pleased to let their photos be utilised at no charge – if you ask nicely.

A good method to find pictures is through Flickr. For example, there are many David Cameron and Tom Cruise pictures to select from. As soon as you’ve found a photo you like, just use Flickr’s contact choice to send the photographer a message asking their permission.

Do be wary using photos of well-known individuals – whilst generally it’s okay to use them alongside news stories and other editorial, you will get in difficulty if it looks like they’re endorsing your item or service.

Take your own photos

With even cheap mobile phones able to create reasonable-quality pictures, you don’t have to be a pro to capture photos that are good enough for the web.

Even though the company is in all sorts of difficulty, you will find some good suggestions for taking better photos on the Kodak website.

Assuming you already own a camera, this method is practically free – and it holds other benefits more than stock pictures. For example, do you think website visitors would prefer to determine a generic image of someone on the telephone, or an actual member of your sales team at function in your workplace?

How do you discover photos for your website? Leave a comment to let us know.

Could You Benefit From An iPhone VPN?

If you need a secure connection on your iPhone, then you may find an  need an iPhone VPN.

It is important that you sign up with a trusted VPN provider. With a trusted iPhone VPN provider, you will get the best service and most reliable connections. The best VPN providers write all of their own software and can therefore offer the fastest service worldwide.

What Does an iPhone VPN Do?

Simply put, an iPhone VPN protects your privacy. When you have a VPN for your smartphone, you have access to four primary advantages over standard internet browsing:

  • Stop ISP Inspections. Prevent your internet service provider from throttling, prioritizing, and inspecting the data that goes in and out of your iPhone.
  • Protect the Activities That You Do Online. A VPN is a secure “tunnel” that takes you to the internet. With a VPN, you get to cruise the internet your way, not someone else’s way.
  • Protect Your IP Address. With an iPhone VPN, the only thing websites will see is the server’s communications.
  • Prevent Location Identification. With a VPN, your IP address is substituted for one that is not based on your location. This prevents location-based ads from affecting your internet experience.

An iPhone VPN Allows Access to Country Specific Sites

Some people feel that an iPhone VPN is actually very limiting. With a VPN tunnel, you can access country specific sites, but not sites outside that country.

If you have a US VPN, for example, you would be able to visit US sites, but not Canadian sites. The same rules apply for every country’s VPN connections.

Though limiting, this type of connection provides the greatest amount of security for the end user. That is why you should use a global VPN provider for your iPhone VPN needs. Global VPN providers have servers located around the world and allow you to access your favorite websites from anywhere. If you need to access a secure site in France, but you live in Canada, you can log into the French VPN and have a high speed connection.

An iPhone VPN Provider Should Provide You Many IP Addresses

One of the difficulties that VPN providers face is limited resources and a reliance on third parties. If you are choosing an iPhone VPN provider, you should look for one that can provide you with many IP addresses. For the most reliable connections the provider should write their own server software, own their own hardware, and manage their own network.

Why Is A 256 Bit Encryption Better?

A 128 bit encryption module is not as secure as it used to be. That’s why the best iPhone VPN providers utilize 256 bit encryption to provide highest level of security possible. You should have access to multiple protocols like PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec to secure all of your devices.

Encripted data

VPN can offer safer surfing, thanks to network encryption

Summary of Benefits

An iPhone VPN is not a substitute for your mobile provider, as you need internet in order to access the VPN server. Once you have logged into your secure tunnel, however, you get the added security benefits that a VPN provides.

When you want a secure solution to browse the internet from your iPhone, then a VPN is often safer. Bypass location based IP blocking, avoid geographical restrictions, and access your favorite websites from home or abroad.

Google gives users malware warnings

Yes you read right, Google is now giving users alerts if it believes that their system is infected with malware.

Over the last week, millions of users will have logged on to Google, only to find a warning telling them that Google believes that their computer ‘appears to be infected’.

Here is an image of that very message:


A Google warning telling users that their computer appears to be infected

Okay my PC isn't infected so I couldn't show you an actual message, but a clever bit of Photoshopping can help me to show you 😉

Google says that it is trying to improve the web for users, and in doing so, it believes that it can enhance users experience, and keep them safer online.

Malware can send users to ‘virus’ pages when they search Google, one of the main reasons why Google wants to help users fight it. The other is that often malware can send tonnes of spammy traffic towards Google. This is not very good for their servers, and could potentially become very costly.

Sometimes Google needs to turn some of its servers off for maintenance, meaning they need to redirect the traffic. However certain malware can keep ‘spamming’ these servers with unwanted traffic, causing the guys at Google a bit of a problem!

Google says that the main cause of malware infection is users downloading face anti-viruses when instructed to by bogus warnings on false websites.

The search giant does currently offer warnings to users on some websites that it knows could potentially infect their computer. Here is an example of the text it may put below a potentially dangerous search result:

This site may harm your computer

An example of the "This site may harm your computer." text that features below some search results in Google

Keeping safe online is a challenge, so it’s good to know that along with our anti-virus software, Google is also watching our back.

To find out more you can read the official blog post on Google’s blog 🙂