Monday, August 28, 2017

"The Straightforward Internet" by Terry Lynne Hale

The Straightforward Internet:
Your Simplified Guide to Exploring Everything from Basics to Social Media to the Deep Web
by Terry Lynne Hale

The Straightforward Internet: Your Simplified Guide to Exploring Everything from Basics to Social Media to the Deep Web by Terry Lynne Hale

Author Terry Lynne Hale stops by today to share a guest post and an excerpt from her latest book, The Straightforward Internet. You can also read my review. This blog post is brought to you by Kate Tilton's Author Services.

Kate Tilton's Author Services

The Straightforward Internet cuts through the complex digital universe that is cyberspace and simplifies information that the reader can quickly absorb and apply, if they choose to. Geared for GenXers and anyone who has been reluctant to embrace all that the Internet offers, it also speaks to the technologically competent reader that understands how fluid the digital universe is and wants to stay on top of it. Plus, there’s information for everyone that falls between these categories. For background fun, occasional references to the original Back to the Future movie touches on the experiences of Marty and Doc.
Beginning with BASICS such as an explanation of the Internet's origin, to how it works, to downloading and uploading content, to how we travel via dial-up, DSL or satellite, this book's basic section also covers email, instant messaging, Netiquette, fact-checking, avoiding viruses, computers and peripherals, how to protect those investments and more.
INTERMEDIATE exploration covers understanding your computer's operating system, social engineering and phishing, differences between paid and organic search engine results, understanding Cloud storage, Social Media, blogging, online dating, fun and hidden Internet games like Easter Egg Hunts, naughty niche sites, Internet auctions, payment gateways, Catfishing and more.
Moving on to more ADVANCED data The Straightforward Internet explains ZIP utilities, PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and when to use them, the Deep Web and its history, how to get there, what is there to do on the Deep Web, Darknet shopping, understanding the escrow system, legal risks, introduction and economics of Bitcoin, associated Deep Web lingo, and more.
The Straightforward Internet also provides a Glossary, website links of interest, end notes, and an index. Since the Internet's arrival in our collective consciousness, human attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. We must communicate swiftly and succinctly to hold one another's attention. This book packs a lot of critical information into a fairly small package, delivering something for (nearly) everyone. Expertise surely exists beyond mine, but it's often accompanied by an inability to express itself in everyday language so the majority can comprehend it.

Book Video

We’ve all seen posts on Facebook, or gotten emails forwarded to us that give people a warning horror story about something awful that happened, that the police want people to be aware of.
Take this story, as an example.
At a petrol pump, a man came over and offered his services as a painter to a lady filling petrol in her car and left his visiting card. She said nothing but accepted his card out of sheer kindness and got into the car. The man then got into a car driven by another person.
As the lady left the service station, she saw the men following her out of the station at the same time. Almost immediately, she started to feel dizzy and could not catch her breath. She tried to open the window and realized that the odor was on her hand; the same hand with which she had received the card from the person at the service station.
She then noticed the men were immediately behind her and she felt she needed to do something at that moment. She drove into the first driveway and began to honk her horn repeatedly to ask for help. The men drove away but the lady still felt pretty bad for several minutes after she could finally catch her breath. Apparently, there was a substance on the card that could have seriously injured her.
This drug is called 'BURUNDANGA'. (Not known To People So Far but sufficient Information Is available in the Net) and it is used by people who wish to incapacitate a victim in order to steal from or take advantage of them. This drug is four times more dangerous than the date rape drug and is transferable on a simple card or paper. So please take heed and make sure you don't accept cards when you are alone or from someone on the streets. This applies to those making house calls and slipping you a card when they offer their services.
That message was originally seen in an email in 2008. It sounds pretty terrifying and plays on our worst fears, that doing something as simple as taking a business card from someone could result in us becoming the victim of a crime. Of course if we receive this email, we want to forward it to everyone we know, so they know not to take business cards from strangers.
The problem is this email is fake. Nothing like the above story has ever happened. While the drug Burundanga does exist, it does not work in the way described in the above story and has never been reported as being used in any kind of attack like the one in the story.
How do I know this? A simple search of Snopes. Snopes is an Internet fact checking site that looks into many email hoaxes. They’re constantly updating their database with new stories they’ve debunked after doing thorough research.
To check out Snopes and stay up to date on the latest cyber hoaxes, go here:
Before you forward something like that, fact check. Check Snopes, or if the message is claiming that it’s a release from a police department, check the police department’s website. Above all, take any message you receive with a grain of salt. If it’s filled with spelling or grammatical errors, chances are it did not come from a government agency. Remember what was said in Chapter 1. The good and bad of the Internet; anyone can say anything.
[Want more? Click below to read another excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Intended for those intimidated by the internet and hope it is a passing fad, Hale's book is mercifully free of intimidating techno-jargon, and achieves its goal of easing resistant Gen X'rs into eventual mastery of the internet." ~ IndieReader
"As someone who has been in business for years and thought I was fairly knowledgeable about the internet, I really enjoyed this book and learned so many new things. The simplicity of explanations, and humor made it even more interesting, and I have purchased several copies for friends as gifts. I look forward to your next book Terry!" ~ Horace James

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
This is a simplified guide to cyberspace, aimed at GenXers or anyone who has been reluctant to embrace all that the Internet offers, from simple email all the way to the dark side of the deep web. It begins with an introduction to basic terms and concepts, including email, instant messaging, netiquette, viruses, scams, emojis, and texting language. It moves on to intermediate topics such as hardware, antivirus software, search engines, cloud storage, social media, virtual Easter eggs (loved this section!), naughty niche sites, catfishing, and Internet auctions. Then we learn about more advanced tools: zip utilities, encryption, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and the deep web. It finishes with a glossary and a comprehensive list of sites of interest.
Throughout, the author uses analogies to the Back to the Future movie to explain concepts in simple terms. She also provides images, hyperlinks to useful sites and further reading, as well as footnotes hyperlinked to the reference section.
There are a few formatting and editing issues, but not enough to detract from the subject matter. The deep web section was all new to me, but I think the book could do without the "Naughty Niche Sites" section. I felt compelled to check some of them out and wish I hadn't. Seriously, do NOT google them. Okay, you did, didn't you? Don't say I didn't warn you.
The perfect gift for that someone you know who struggles with technology - we all have one!

Guest Post by the Author
Why Another Book About the Internet?
I’m one of those people who know how life was before the Internet. There’s an entire generation today who probably can’t imagine what that could have been like. It was OK. We didn’t know what was to come, so it’s not like we were missing it. But when the Internet came into the consciousness of the majority, there was no going back.
This woman wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the Internet. When PCs became widely available for home use – albeit outrageously expensive - I had to have one. My first computer cost $3500 in 1995. It was loaded with software from MS Office to Quicken to MS Money, to Encarta (encyclopedia) to MS Access (CRM), Adobe Reader (Acrobat), plus lots and lots of games. In addition to the processor/tower, it included the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers. It was the whole shebang. It needed to be for that kind of money!
About 5 desktops, 4 laptops, 2 tablets & several smart phones later, I’m blown away when I think of all the money these toys, er - ah, tools, required.
I was super jazzed about being on the Net. Family and friends of all ages began asking me questions about it. They knew I was hooked and they also knew I dive in and absorb all that I can when I want to learn about a subject. So, in a pretty short time, I found myself an unofficial expert on all things Internet.
People mentioned they tried to learn from the Dummies books without success, and I paged through one of them at a (now defunct) Borders Bookstore. W-T-H? Talk about complicated! I understood the subject, but I found the book to be convoluted. How in the hell would your average Jill or Joe understand this stuff? So, that inspired me to write my first book, Ageless Internet: Internet Basics for Boomers and Seniors.
I spent three years writing the book (much too long), partly because I kept trying to keep up with the constantly changing Net! It can’t be done. It is so fluid, so ever-changing that, despite my best efforts, within a few months of publishing Ageless Internet, it was already out of date. (There is no mention of The Cloud because it wasn’t widely known at that time.) Still, there is a good deal of very basic information about email and effective searching that remains accurate and useful for the novice.
I was a little disillusioned. How does one create an evergreen product - one that stands the test of time – on a subject matter that defies it?
A number of younger friends and acquaintances – GenXers – would ask questions about getting around the Net, which really surprised me because they were so damn proficient in using social media! These people were amazing when it came to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc., but still had a lot of questions about getting around the Internet and all of the things they could accomplish with it.
Yet, that’s what is so rich about computing and the digital age. Expertise is as fluid as the digital landscape. One may be an expert in a tiny niche category of computing but clueless in the next.
So, I blew off my intention to write evergreen copy on the next book and sat down to write for that last group on the face of the earth who didn’t grow up with computers.
The Straightforward Internet is intended to be a quick read, not a comprehensive manual because, well, we’re all short on time. Our attention spans are shrinking, and we have to get the message out fast, furiously, and succinctly. That’s what I’ve done with The Straightforward Internet: Your Simplified Guide to Exploring Everything from Basics to Social Media to the Deep Web.

About the Author
Terry Lynne Hale
Terry Lynne Hale is a Kansas City author and freelance writer. Her first book, Ageless Internet, was a Finalist in the Global Ebook Awards and Ageless Internet won the 2012 Indie Excellence Award in its category.
Her next book is The Straightforward Internet. It is geared toward Generation X, another group whose members may or may not have fully embraced all that is the Internet. It was published on Amazon as a Kindle ebook and a POD paperback in February.
Coming this Summer is Interview 2017. It’s a whole new world out there, and you won’t land that job you really want unless you treat the search like a job in itself. You need to make a mark, make it quick and make it memorable.
Terry is an animal lover and tries to be a responsible environmental steward. She is interested in nutrition and whole body health, combining alternative with mainstream medical modalities. She and her husband enjoy target shooting, whitewater rafting and in the Spring of 2016, enjoyed a hot air balloon ride in Park City, Utah. She loves the ocean, and they love the mountains.
Hale’s biggest issue is in finding the time to pursue all of the subjects she’s interested in. Learning takes time, and she is a life-long student.