Many of the freebies listed here are courtesy of my friend and mentor, Roland Rhoades.
Specific listings will follow shortly, and will include such things as free software for office applications, compatible with Microsoft Office; free "800" phone number, free FAX service, free business printed items such as business cards, and more.
Let's start off with the most important thing in the world if you have your own computer:
FREE, Full Time Virus Protection
How do you recognize a virus? These days, if you don't have a virus program, you can't. They can come disguised as return mail from the mailer-daemon, as a safe sounding attachment, as "here's a funny website", as "dangerous virus removal tools", or even without any attachment. And if your computer has a virus, it can spread itself to everyone you know, and you'll be left without any friends. Really, if you don't have an up-to-date virus program, you should NOT be emailing anybody.
If you are like most people, you purchased a computer with a trial version of a good, trusted anti-virus program. But, when the trial is over, you have to pay for new virus definition files. And if you are like most people, you never subscribed to the paid service. Which leaves you protected ONLY against OLD viruses. When a new virus comes along, you are vulnerable.
Let's also get clear on how to operate a virus program. Installing it and never running it does virtually nothing. You should be downloading the free updates daily or as available, and run the entire program every week (or daily if you're on-line much) [Bootup virus scan does not check everything, so set a time when your computer is on for the program to deep-scan everything automatically, or manually start the scan.]
There IS a FREE reliable anti-virus program, which offers full time virus protection, as well as FREE updates of NEW virus definitions. I have used this program for a couple years and am very happy with it.
AVG Anti Virus is the name of the program, produced by a company called Grisoft. And it is 100% free. The program stops viruses in their tracks, runs in the background full-time, and can be set to automatically update itself at intervals you choose, or can be updated manually anytime you like. New virus definition files are ALWAYS free. [They also have paid versions which I don't think you need since it doesn't give you any extra protection, just technical support and advanced interactivity, which I've never needed.]
Do yourself a huge favor. Check out the AVG Anti Virus web site, and download the program. Note: In order to activate the program properly, you must register before you download, and give your correct email address. The company will NOT send you spam. They will ONLY contact you for two reasons:
1 - To give you a "serial number" so you can finish installation of the program, and
2 - To alert you when new virus definition files are released.
Go now to http://free.grisoft.com
FREE INTERNET & COMPUTER TRAINING
The next best thing you can do is to learn all about your computer. If you can read, then READ. I never found that structured classes really helped me do what I wanted to do. Learning on your own works best, if you have some guidance. Search the internet for limitless computer advice websites and blogs, borrow Smart Computing and other magazines from the Library, and go to www.smartcomputing.com .
I recommend Kim Komando who has her own weekly talk radio show, and you can subscribe to her newsletter, a free service of The Kim Komando Computer Show, one of the Top 10 Most Listened to Programs in the United States! Sign up at: http://www.komando.com/
The next most important place to go is http://www.zdnet.com and peruse their website and sign up for their Anchordesk Newsletter. I call this place the consumer reports of the internet. Advice and News of what is going on in the Computer World. They also have great free downloads of programs. And of course, www.cnet.com.
MAKE PDF Adobe Acrobat files for free.Yes, you can convert your Word documents, efaxes, scanned documents, and more into easily readable PDF documents for free with a FREE program called Cutepdf. Download it free at www.cutepdf.com.
FREE FULLER BRUSH DISTRIBUTORSHIP& WEBSITE
If you haven't become a Fuller Brush distributor yet, we also offer you a FREEone-year distributorship and kit, or kits with free products. You also receive a FREE website from Fuller Brush exactly like the one you see when you click on the Fuller Direct button below.Click on Business Opportunity for all the details or call me, Jim Rinaldi, at 1-415-235-0080
Shop on my FullerDirect website, get discount prices on dozens of Fuller and Stanley products,and get a FREEMaster Catalogand a gift with any order!
FREE CREDIT REPORTS. Don't pay to join something that offers "free" credit reports like freecreditreport.com. Get it free for real. See the FTC website page here. Check out all the scams too.
Identity Theft is a real concern, although it only happens to a small fraction of people. Minimize your risk by simple updates of your data. Mother's maiden name is an obsolete form of security and I'm surprised banks and credit cards still use it, but it is probably the most simple security question for them to use. Mother's maiden name is very easy to find via obituaries, wedding announcements, and genealogy (family tree) printouts and books, and especially with the internet. Use an alternative security question like your first or favorite pet, teacher, or school, etc, something nobody could guess or find in print.