Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Photographer on the Web - Introduction

This is the first of an 8 Part Article that I will post over the next few day. It is actually a lecture that I am giving at ArtShots as a Power Point Presentation.

As a photographer you may have many reasons for wanting to get on the Web or the ‘Internet’. You may want to socialize and share images with friends, family or other photographers. You may want to go somewhere to learn or perhaps even may just want to help others out. You may be interested in selling Stock Images, Gallery Art Images or your images privately or you may simply want to have a presence on the Internet, your business card and portfolio as it were. Or, perhaps, you may simply want to Blog for personal or business reasons.

Whichever the case, there are thousands of sites already designed for all these purposes. What types of sites are they, what are they for and how do they differ? There are social sites, photography sites for various levels of photography and sites for very specific aspects of photography. Many are fun and great places to learn and others are less social but more professional and higher standards of quality are promoted. There are even rip-off sites and sites designed just to infect you computer!

Stock Photography sites and commerce sites abound for the photographer; can you actually make money from such sites?

If you blog, will people read it? Or, will they even see it?

Which site or sites are right for you? Should you be on just one site or many sites? Are you just wanting to have fun, wanting to have a general presence or wanting to establish a Commercial or Gallery Site? I’ll try to answer some of these questions and I will share some personal experiences along the way.

When I list some sites, note that there are many others. I list some that are popular, but I may or may not have used them.

First a Warning!

Viruses – Surfing the Internet in this day and age can be a dangerous and expensive thing. By merely going onto a site you can get a Virus, Malware or a Trojan. They now come in all shapes and variations and a Trojan may even hijack your system or worse may hold you hostage by stealing your data and demanding money to get the information back. Make sure you have current updated non expired Anti Virus Software. Also make sure you have current updated Anti Spyware Software.

For those of you here that think you are secure because you have a MAC, think again. In the past 18 months, there have been more security issues that have affected MACs than PCs. Because of the growing popularity of MACs in business and because MAC users are generally NOT protected at all, MAC users have become the fastest growing target of Hackers! If you want to question me on these statements, please come and see me after the talk, but just so you know, Corporate Computer Security and Viruses is what I do for a living.

Privacy and Security – I was on a site where a young adult woman was stalked and harassed. Please think twice about giving your full name or real last name. Give a state or nearby town as opposed to a full address. Keep this in mind at all times for you or your children.

Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo Mail Account was hacked weeks before the election because of personal and private information that she had posted on the web. School information and other personal information allowed hackers to gather easy to find information and then to use that information to answer Security questions that allowed them to retrieve her password. Her password “popcorn” was retrieved by simply answering her security question “Where did you meet your spouse?” A simple Google search retrieved the answer.

A tip on passwords – Never use the same password, perhaps change it based on the sites name. Use a completely different and more secure password for any and all commerce sites.

Simple Passwords – JamesBondM or JamesBondF

More Secure Passwords – S3cur3B@nk~08 or C@nucks4Ever2oo8

A tip on Security Questions – Always use the same “Secret Password” for any question or at least never use a real answer! What is your first Pets name? Answer – JamesBond007. What is your favorite movie? Answer – JamesBond007. What is your social Insurance Number? Answer - JamesBond007.

I pass this information on not to scare you, but rather to make you aware of the dangers.

© 2008 Francois Cleroux

(Version 1.00 - November 2008)

Please feel free to leave comments, corrections, ideas, thoughts or suggestions.

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I value thoughtful comments and suggestions. If you like or dislike this post, please let me know. If you have any ideas or suggestion, comments or corrections (I do make mistakes) please also let me know. Thanks.

- Francois Cleroux