online tips

Managing Your Bandwidth

What is Bandwidth?
  • Bandwidth is a measure of the amount of data that can be transmitted through a connection over a given amount of time.
  • Bandwidth, also called data transfer rate, is usually expressed in bits per second (bps).
What is download/upload?
  • When the information flows from somewhere e.g. a web-page or a site to your PC you are "downloading". On the other hand when you send information e.g. request for a web-page, or you are posting pictures on your facebook, you are "uploading"
How do I consume bandwidth online?
  • Everything sent or received over the internet consists of bits of data, whether it's a web page, an email, a music track or a video clip.
  • The more you use the Internet, the more files you download or upload so the higher your Internet usage or bandwidth consumption becomes. Usage is calculated in kilobytes (KB), Megabytes (MB) or Gigabytes (GB) – where 1MB = 1024KB and 1GB =1024MB.
  • For example, a typical music track is 5MB, and a 2 hour DVD quality film is 1GB.
  • The total amount of data you send and receive each month is your total monthly usage
How to manage your consumption based tariff.
  • Turn off broadband when not in use.
  • Compress file if there will be need for downloading and uploading.
  • Prevent automatic download and uploads.
  • Turn off automatic windows update and news feed.
  • When on a multiple access or wifi enabled device, password the device to prevent unauthorized connection.
What can I do with 1 GB(Giga Byte) download? One GB is 1024 Megabyte or 1073741824 bytes. You can do the following with 1 GB download limit:
  • An average web page is about 50 kilobytes in size - so you could download around 20,000 web pages for 1 gigabyte.
  • An hour of surfing the web would be around 10 megabytes (200 pages) so you could surf non-stop for about 100 hours for 1 gigabyte.
  • An hour of streamed radio would use about 15-20 megabytes.
  • An hour of streamed video uses around 100-150 megabytes.
  • Playing an online game typically uses about 10-15 megabytes per hour.
  • Emails are very small - so 100 emails would be just 1 megabyte - or 100,000 emails for 1 gigabyte! (of course the attachments count extra)
  • A super-high resolution (5-6 megapixel) digital camera JPEG picture or typical MP3 music file is about 2-3 megabytes so you could download 350-500 of these images/music files for 1 gigabyte. Very few users would actually exceed the download limits set.
Which plan will best suit your Internet usage?
  • The plan you choose will depend on how much Internet data you are likely to use each month. This is essentially a function of what you do every day online and the number of people who use the internet service. For example, if much of what you do online revolves around emails and facebook, it means your bandwidth usage is low and you have no need for high bandwidth allocations which cost more. A person who is engaged in a daily transfer (either upload or download) of heavy data such as Multimedia streaming, emails with heavy attachments, music videos and other such heavy files would require a plan with high bandwidth offering to fit with his consumption pattern
What to do if your usage at the end of the month is higher than expected?
  • Your usage level depends on what you and other persons who have access to your network in your household or office do online. If your usage has increased a lot in a month, check how your household's or staff surfing habits have changed and what extra things are being done online. Browsing web pages and sending emails are typically low usage, video streaming and downloading music are medium usage, whereas high-definition video streaming, downloading TV programmes and movies or using peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications can be very high usage.

    An increased usage will require your upgrading to a plan with a higher usage allowance or if the use is unauthorized, you secure your service using appropriate security pass codes.

Calculating my bandwidth usage
  • You can calculate your bandwidth usage from your upload/download speed: take the speed of your transfers for example 25kbyte/sec dl and 12kbyte/sec dl (which makes 37kbyte/sec) and multiply it with the time(in sec) you maintained this speed. You will get the data size in kilobyte.

    There are a couple of apps online which will require you inputting the activities you carryout online and it calculates your estimated usage. This will guide your selection of an appropriate tariff plan.

Broadband Speeds
  • When talking about broadband speeds we are referring to how quickly you can get information from the Internet to your computer. This is known as your download speed. How quickly you can send information from your computer to the Internet is known as your upload speed. We measure broadband speeds in Mbps (Megabits per second) sometimes referred to as "Meg" e.g. 2Mbps or 2Meg.

Conducting Research Online

Define your goals.

Analyse your research project. Break it down into its component parts. Determine why you need this information and what you plan to do with it. This will make your information search clear to you and easier to conduct. Knowing the kinds of information you want will help you choose the resources and tools that will best meet your needs. Are you looking for statistics, in-depth books, magazine articles, expert comments, product reviews, etc.?

Start with the popular search engines

Start with Google and Wikipedia. Sure, your professor doesn't want you to rely solely on these e-sources for your research. But they're both good for giving you an overview of your topic. Once you get a general view and some descriptive words from Google and Wikipedia defining your topic, you can move on to the meaty stuff.

Don’t Just View the Top 10 Results.

Search engines such as Google rank results based on what its algorithms think you want to see, as well as overall popularity. But while very, very sophisticated, these engines are nowhere near perfect, and you may find a lot of useless information up front and some very, very valuable Web pages among pages 11-20 or even 40-50. Take the time to dig a little deeper and not just accept the first thing that’s put in front of your face.

Try a library website

When you've Googled and Wiki-ed to your satisfaction and you think you are yet to get exactly what you desire you can get more serious by using more serious, scholarly sources that will provide you with dependable information. Some colleges and Universities have awesome virtual libraries which you can consult. Check out both their catalogue and browse their database.

Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds is a technology that allow subscribers an immediate update when new information is posted. RSS feeds are particularly handy for news sources or other websites that are constantly updated. If you need to collect current events on a particular topic, RSS feeds will practically do your work for you.

Use Synonyms, Alternate Spellings and Related Topics

As you conduct your research, take note of synonyms, alternate spellings and related keywords of your topic. For example, if you’re looking for information on dogs, you may also want to search "puppies", "canines" and "pets".

Choose a Browser That is Conducive to Research

There are many free internet browser downloads—Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera are just a few. Some browsers allow you to add notes, save groups of websites and have integrated search engines that make web research easier and faster. Any of the three listed above are great for web research.

Join or Create a Group

A number of websites like Google, Yahoo and MSN offer online groups where members can share information. This is an excellent way to meet people who share your same interests and discover new resources.

Evaluate Web sites.

In the course of doing research, you may need to use some Web sites on the open Web. You should evaluate these sites for Authority, Bias, Currency, Documentation and Delivery.

Practice critical thinking!

Evaluate the information you find. There is a lot of information on the Internet, not all of it accurate, trustworthy or even serious. It is therefore always a good idea to be somewhat skeptical about the information your searches deliver. Don't accept what you read as the truth: get confirming sources, ask questions, talk to experts, probe for motivations, and use your intuition -- if something just doesn't sound right, check it out further.

Properly Cite the Page.

When citing a source in your paper, it’s important to include the entire Web address, not just the site’s Home Page. This is most easily done by copying the address in your browser’s address bar and then pasting it into your paper in the appropriate area, either as a footnote or in your bibliography.

Safe Online Shopping

Use Familiar Websites

Rather than using a general search engine, restrict yourself to trusted sites. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. If you know the site, chances are it's less likely to be a rip off. We all know and that it carries everything under the sun; likewise, just about every major retail outlet has an online store, from Target to Best Buy to Home Depot. Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com, for example)—those are the oldest tricks in the book. Yes, the sales on these sites might look enticing, but that's how they trick you into giving up your info.

Look for the Lock

Never ever buy anything online using your debit/credit card from a site that doesn't have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed—at the very least. You'll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser. Never, ever give anyone your debit or credit card over email. Ever.

Careful what information you are giving up

No online shopping store needs your social security number or your birthday to do business. However, if crooks get them, combined with your credit card number for purchases, they can do a lot of damage. The more they know, the easier it is to steal your identity. When possible, default to giving up the least amount of personal information anywhere online.

Monitor your Account

Don't wait for your bank statement to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly and look at electronic statements for your debit/credit card. Most banks offer Email and sms alerts to let you know as soon there is any transaction on your account. If you see something irregular, pick up the phone to address the matter quickly. In the case of credit cards, pay the bill only once you know all your charges are accurate. You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems, however; after that, you might be liable for the charges anyway.

Protect your PC

Swindlers don't just sit around waiting for you to give them data; sometimes they give you a little something extra to help things along. You need to protect against malware with regular updates to your anti-virus program. There are many reliable brands out there.

Use Strong Passwords

You’ve heard this before no doubt, but we are happy to re-emphasise it because nowhere else are “uncrackable” passwords more important than when shopping or banking online. The internet is awash with various tips for creating unique passwords and remembering them.

Avoid Public Terminals

Hopefully we don't have to tell you it's a bad idea to use a public computer to make purchases especially cyber cafés, but we still will. If you are compelled to, just remember to log out completely even if you were just checking email. And yes, look over your shoulder whenever you have to put in your PIN or other such details. You never know who is watching.

Think Mobile

Many popular sites, especially shopping sites now have mobile apps. Use them. There's no real need to be any more nervous about shopping on a mobile device than online. The trick is to use apps provided directly by the retailers, like Amazon, Target, etc. Use the apps to find what you want and then make the purchase directly, without going to the store or the website. (For more complete information, be sure to also read our tips for shopping safely on a mobile device.

Is your Wi-Fi Safe?

Be sure of the safety of whatever network you are accessing the internet with on your PC. When shopping, do not try out hotspots from unfamiliar networks especially those in public places even if they are free. Stick with known networks.

Be vigilant; know what Too Good to Be True

Be smart and watch out for scams. The "coupon scam" offers of a free product with purchase, in particular an iPad or even holiday job offers. Many of these "offers" are popular on social media. Beware even of your friends, who might innocently forward such a thing. Be very wary even if you get a message from friend claiming he or she has been robbed, especially a friend overseas looking for money to be wire transferred, unless you absolutely can confirm it by talking to him or her personally. Skepticism in most cases can go a long way toward saving you from a stolen card number.

Successful Blogging

Getting Started

Choosing a blogging platform is your first challenge. There are lots of free options out there including Wordpress, Tumblr, TypePad and Blogger. All of them offer free design themes so you can customise your own blog so it's very easy to get started. And if you're not sure how to use them?There's plenty of online video tutorials to be found on the web – for example, Wordpress has its very own lesson list to help get you

Name your blog

Everyone knows the importance of optimizing their website and/or blog for search engines. Hands down, the most important part of SEO is your choice of name. The rule of thumb is to use a name that is going to be relevant to nearly every post you make. It could be your name if you are running a personal blog or otherwise, try to pick something that exemplifies what your focus is; technology, literature, entertainment etc.


From an SEO point of view, it's worth getting your blog integrated with your existing website to build content and make the search engines love you even more. After all, SEO (search engine optimisation) is all about content. But if you're not able to do this or can't afford to hire a web developer to sort, then start a free blog and make sure you include links to your main website or other links, for example to your artistic portfolio.

Stay within your comfort zone

Write about something you love, otherwise you'll show no passion in your writing. And if there's no passion, your content will suffer, so find a topic you are comfortable with and only write about that. For example, if you're a museum curator, talk about the industry, emerging trends and other museums or exhibitions you love. And if you're a theatre director, you could write about industry folk you admire or share your working day with your followers.

Format your posts

Good formatting helps readers follow your posts easily. Reading on-screen is more tiring than reading print, and most people will skim through posts to find the information they want. You can help them by adding bullet points for lists, using bold text for important sentences, indenting where necessary and using block quote formatting for quotes.

Introduce Images, Lots of them

People love images. Some of the most popular arts and creative blogs in the world include a lot of imagery. Good images – whether photos, screenshots, illustrations or cartoons – will enhance your posts. You can use them to: Draw the reader’s attention – usually at the beginning of a post, Set the tone for the post (this can work especially well for humorous or inspiring pieces) Break up long posts (placing images either between or alongside paragraphs), Add extra information (screenshots and photos can really enhance "how-to" style posts). You can also add arrows, circles, text or underlining to help your readers, too.

Encourage Interaction and Feedback

Your blog’s comments section is a great place to foster strong relationships with your readers, and to receive crucial feedback. Get people talking on your blog. Ask them to add their comments on various articles. Encourage interaction wherever possible. Ask for feedback, respond to people's contributions, build a community and be nice. People love to interact, so make sure you're friendly and welcoming.To encourage comments, get into the habit of asking a question at the end of every blog post. Something as simple as "What do you think?" or "Do you agree?" is a great way to invite readers to join in a conversation.

Learn what your readers prefer

Blogger has analytics/stats you can use to see which of your posts was the most popular. You can also find out which of your posts were the least popular. This will give you an idea what your audience is interested in. If you're not set up on blogger, wordpress also have built in analytics. There is also Google Analytics. It's free and it'll tell you everything you ever wanted to know about your blog traffic. I also recommend linking your Google Analytics account with your Google Webmaster Tools account. The analytics including knowledge of how people are landing on your blog and how they're finding you should guide the content you put up on your blog

Be mobile friendly

More and more readers are consuming blog content on their phones (or tablets) rather than on a full-size computer screen. If they have to wait ages while your header and sidebar images download, or fiddle around to zoom in on your teeny-tiny text, they may well surf elsewhere. To make your blog mobile-friendly, you can use a plugin like WPtouch to create a fast mobile theme without affecting your site’s regular theme or the mobile apps of your choice blog. It is also improtant to ensure your writing style is clear and concise. Readers using mobile devices can’t scan straight down through three boring paragraphs to get to the meat of your post, and may well click away without scrolling their screen.

Get Social

Don't neglect social media like Twitter and Facebook. Make sure you hook these up to your blog's RSS feed and update your followers and fans with your latest post. Twitterfeed is a great tool that automatic publishes your posts to your Twitter and Facebook accounts — great for Twitter but looks a bit spammy for Facebook at present. Test everything first and make sure you're happy with the automatic updates and tweets you're putting out there.

Look again before you post

Finally, before you hit the "publish" button, it's crucial you check your spelling and proofread your article again and again. Bad spelling will not only ruin your credibility, it will damage your SEO as the search engines won't appreciate poor copy. Make sure you check everything before you go live.

Safe Online Gaming

Keep a clean machine

All Internet-enabled devices need to be kept up-to-date to protect them from malware and other threats. Security protections are built in and updated on a regular basis. Take time to make sure all the mobile devices in your house have the latest protections. Before you start playing, be sure your computer/gaming system has the latest operating system, software - including anti-virus protection, web browsers and apps.

Use secure passwords

Use a strong password for your gaming accounts. Be sure your password has at least eight characters and uses numbers, letters, and symbols.

Beware of Cyber Bullies

Learn how to block and/or report another player if they are making you uncomfortable. Keep a record of what the other player said, but do not engage them.

Be Web wise

Never reveal your real name, location, gender, age, or any other personal information. Keep your user name vague and use an avatar rather than an actual picture of yourself. Also, do not use voice chat when playing an online game, unless there is a feature that allows you to disguise your voice. Do not use a web-cam while playing an online game. Do not present yourself as dating material.Do not send out materials to fellow gamers that contains personal information and/or data.

Look after your fellow gamers

Once you do find people that you trust in your online games, then it is important to build a bond and to look after each other. This should not be a problem, as most online games are team oriented in some way or another, so all you have to do is carry that into the realm of staying safe outside of the video game, and online.

Regulate the time for gaming

Games could become addictive so you should limit the time you spend playing games. Some consoles offer parental control features that let parents decide when and for how long their child can play, who they can play with, or even let you “mute” or disable the ability for your child to hear the game’s online chat (which can at times be pretty colourful). These guides have instructions to setting up game device parental controls. Mobile phones and tablets also tend to offer settings by which a parent can restrict access to certain apps (usually by their age rating) and/or turn off online access or location services altogether.

Do your research.

Make sure you read and understand the ratings for the games that your children are playing. Some game sites have multiple games with different ratings, so check all of them to be sure your kids are not being exposed to damaging and disturbing content.

Be careful what you pick up.

Do not accept downloads from strangers. This includes cheat programs that may claim to help you perform better in the game, but really could be carrying malware.

Converting Your Social Media Followers Into Paying Customers

Create a strategy

Start off on the right foot by creating a social media strategy. All those Facebook posts and tweets may not help your sales much without proper planning. Determine the goals of your social media presence, whether it’s attracting more customers, boosting brand recognition or improving customer service. Decide who your target audience is, and spell out a content strategy. Finally, create an action plan that sets out employee responsibilities for social media tasks and a publishing schedule for posts.


Social media is all about engagement and dialogue. If you are using Facebook and Twitter for blatant sales pitches, such monologues are of little use. It misses the personal touch and fails to strike a connection with your followers. Unless you engage meaningfully with your followers, it’s wishful thinking to believe that they’ll sign up as your customers. Remember: Having a lot of fans is good, but it’s even better to have the right fans—ones who are interested in your company, willing to interact with you on social media and likely to move toward your goals.

Add Value

People love to know what they’re missing and how you can add value with your products/ services. Show your personality to your fans/ followers and make them a part of what you are doing, there by adding to the value chain.Use innovative ways to show them what they missing out on and how signing up as your customers will benefit them.


It’s a tricky situation as you want to keep your followers engaged and active and not exhaust them with sales pitches. It’s important to keep your topics well balanced, and throw in a correct mix of personal posts and discussions with work-related promotional posts. Create a buzz about your promotional posts without overdoing it.


Social media is more about quality rather than quantity. Whether it’s your followers, profile content or interaction with followers, quality matters more than quantity. Be mindful not to overload your followers with useless information.Instead, make a conscious effort to provide quality information in an easily accessible manner. If it’s not easy to access or read, it’s definitely not quality information.

Don’t Spam

Never spam your followers with unsolicited messages promoting your business. It’s likely to bring disrepute to your business. Spamming your users with too many links to rapidly drive up your social media fan base is a bad idea. Such followers are definitely not going to sign up as customers for sure.

Be Authentic

Social media demands authenticity from all parties involved – whether it’s business owners or followers. If your followers doubt your authenticity, they will jump ship faster than you can imagine. And it’s not just authenticity, humility and honesty is equally important. People love to interact with businesses that they like and who are like them. Being honest, open and humble helps transition your social media followers into paying evangelists.


Don’t’ be afraid to try out new things to impress your followers. Many businesses have leveraged exciting new tools such as Groupon coupled with social media to tap the collective buying power to give businesses exposure and guaranteed customers. Further, it may be a good idea to conduct Meetups every once in a while to come face to face with your customers. Or perhaps, conduct a webinar or publish a free eBook to help your followers.


As in any conversation, listening is half the job. Be sure you’re monitoring what fans are saying and doing. Look at what kinds of content sparks the most reaction and leads to the best conversion rates. And monitor other successful companies in your industry to see what they’re doing on social media.

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