Graphics for the Web: Plug-Ins

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

Plug-ins include:

- Macromedia flash (quickly becoming one ofrepparttar most popular formats) - Adobe Acrobat Reader (nowrepparttar 134646 standard for web document publication) - Quicktime (a video format) - Shockwave (another popular plug-in - Real Player (a very compressed video and audio format)

There are hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of other plug-ins and ActiveX controls available for your browser.

Web Site Design Notes

Okay, this is all fine and dandy, but do you really need or want plug-ins on your web site? Well, that's up to you. Some ofrepparttar 134647 reasons for including plug-ins are:

- You can make your web site more interesting and different.

- Plug-ins can be fun to use

- You can add things to your web site that cannot otherwise be added

Why wouldn't you want to include plug-ins?

- They tend to scare away visitors who don't know what they are

- Your pages become unattractive or non-functional if your visitors do not choose to download and installrepparttar 134648 plug-in

- Ifrepparttar 134649 provider ofrepparttar 134650 plug-in ceases business operations, then you may be stuck with a website that you cannot maintain or improve

- Plug-ins are often frowned upon because they add a security risk to your visitors systems, they require long downloads (and sometimes reboots for installation), and they can make systems unstable.

- Your site sometimes inheritsrepparttar 134651 reputation ofrepparttar 134652 plug-in. For example, many people consider Comet Cursors to be spyware and very intrusive (as well as obnoxious and unnecessary) and will not visit your site if you've got those on your pages. Thus, you site may be considered "bad" even though it might be excellent.

In generally, Flash, Shockwave, Acrobat, and Real player are pretty safe bets. If you want to improve your site with plug-ins, these will do well.

Surfing Notes

Here'srepparttar 134653 strange thing about plug-ins (as well as ActiveX controls) - they require you (the surfer) to make a decision: do you or don't you trustrepparttar 134654 source of this software?

Personally, I have learned through long and hard experience a golden rule of owning or using a personal computer:

The less you install on your computer system,repparttar 134655 more stable your computer will be.

You see, plug-ins, especially ActiveX Controls, tend to install things into your system - things over which you have no control. Worse yet, plug-ins need to be updated - which means a formerly safe plug-in may become unsafe due to sloppy coding practices or other problems.

My advice is very simple. I have installedrepparttar 134656 major plug-ins: Acrobat, Flash, Shockwave and Real Player. These are made by large companies and have established track records for safety and value. There are a few other plug-ins which are reasonably safe: Crescendo comes to mind. I would use extreme caution when installing other plug-ins and especially ActiveX controls. If you don't know, and I mean know without a shadow of a doubt, thatrepparttar 134657 thing is safe, then don't install it. If you do decide to install something, make sure you've got a good backup of your system and data.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: Weekly newsletter: Daily Tips:

Internet Privacy: Creating A Privacy Policy

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

You say you don't know this information? Or perhaps your site is located on a free host such as GeoCities? My recommendation is to find out and document your findings in your own privacy policy. Why? Because atrepparttar very least you need to know and it will increase your credibility with your visitors to includerepparttar 134645 information.

Special relationships - If you've got some co-branding relationships then by all means include a description in your privacy policy. This includes built-in search capabilities such as Atomz as well as resources such as Coolboard and Hitbox. Basically, if you use tools which are hosted on another site, include a description in your privacy policy. It's also a good idea to include a link torepparttar 134646 privacy policy of those tools as well.

This is very important to understand, as all of these tools, most of which are free, collect statistics of one sort or another. These statistics are sold to advertisers. While it may not be very important to your visitors, by includingrepparttar 134647 information, or at least links for additional information, you are increasing your credibility.

Server logging - It's safe to assume that your host logs everything about your visitors and it's wise to at least include a sentence which states this rather obvious fact. If you use server logs for anything, you may also include those uses as well.

Contact information - This is critical. Always include a way for your visitors to send you an email if they have questions about your privacy policy. You will almost certainly not get many inquiries (I have never received one), and includingrepparttar 134648 contact data allows visitors to get any odd questions answered.

Other information - You may ask for other things from your visitors. Be sure and spell out in complete detail exactly why you need that information and what it will be used for. In addition, be completely open about specifying if that information will be shared with others. Anything else - The key thing to remember is full disclosure. Tell your visitors everything.

In summary, include a well written privacy policy which spells out exactly how you use any data that you get from your visitors. This includes information entered directly by them such as email addresses, as well as things that are merely inferred, such as ad tracking and cookie usage. By doing this, you will gain your visitors trust and improve your credibility.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: Weekly newsletter: Daily Tips:

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