The Top 3 Fake Hurricane Sandy Photos Being Shared on Social Media

Hurricane Sandy is everywhere on the news, and (for those with a reliable internet connection), on social media as well.  Many first hand accounts are being spread through social media, but so are a few fakes.  Here are the top three faked Hurricane Sandy photos to be aware of.

  1. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    • This photo has been circulating as being taken during a downpour brought on by the hurricane hitting DC.  While it is a real photograph, it’s from September of this year, and was not taken during Sandy.  Below is a photograph that The National Guard shared that is actually from the beginning of the storm.
  2. Waves Around the Statue of Liberty
    • This photo makes the storm look more than terrifying; it makes it seem apocalyptic!  And there’s a reason…it’s actually from a movie.  Specifically, the screen shot is from the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” in which NYC is flooded.  Someone added a news bar at the bottom to make it seem realistic, but the picture is indeed a fake.
  3. Clouds Over the Statue of Liberty
    • This photo is actually a composite made from two photos: one of New York Harbor, and one of a cloud formation from 2004 (that wasn’t even in New York!).

Which Internet Connection Are You?

Like favorite colors, everyone has an internet connection that fits them best.  Find out which connection YOU are with this fun guide:

You are DIAL-UP if…
…you want internet that is basic, universal, and inexpensive.  Dial-upinternet is a good choice for basic web users.  It isn’t the fastest internet connection available (though EarthLink does provide a free dial-up accelerator that lets you surf up to 7x faster than regular 56K dial-up), but it can be installed into any home in America with a phone line.  And it’s incredibly cost-effective: Prices are as low as $9.95/mo for the first three months!

You are DSL if…
…you need a reliable connection, but require more speed than dial-up (to watch a lot of videos, stream content, etc). DSL internet is up to 100x faster than dial-up access, and is perfect for those who spend a lot of time online.  With low pricing like $14.95/mo for the first three months, it’s also a great value!

You are CABLE if…
…you like to spend a lot of time downloading/uploading content, streaming full-length movies, playing detailed online games, (etc.). Though offers vary by location, a cable internet connection can start at only $29.95/mo, and can be up to 250x faster than dial-up access.  It’s a great solution for people who feel the need for online speed!

(NOTE: if you live in a rural area that doesn’t have access to cable or DSL, but desire more speed than dial-up, EarthLink offers satellite internet to make sure your needs get met!)

Men Are Shopping More Online

Your internet provider lets you use email, social media, do research, keep up with the news…and shop.  And it seems that online shopping may have an unexpectedly popular patron: men.

Men have been turning out to shop online in droves, and retailers are excited about this for a few reasons:

  1. Men seem to do less casual browsing than women do, meaning that they are more likely to buy when they visit a site when compared to a female consumer
  2. Men often like to get the shopping “over with” and often buy more in one transaction than their female counterparts
  3. Men seem to have brand loyalty, meaning that companies have to spend less on advertising to keep a male customer once he’s purchased

Do you think this is an accurate reading of the online-shopping-male population, or does it seem a bit stereotypical?  Either way, online shopping is a great way to get what you want on your own time (and from your own home)!


The 4 Social Media Guidelines You Need to Know

Social media has gotten so big so fast that, often, it can be confusing to know what’s appropriate and what isn’t.

So, because sites are easy to use (Facebook, for example, is quite intuitive), we will, instead of publishing a how-to-use guide, publish our four guidelines on how-to-act within the social media space:


Personal Info

When the internet began, anonymity was the way to go.  Employing usernames like “Stargazer43” was par for the course.  But times have changed, and we are all expected to make ourselves available through social media (ourselves, not a screen name) using our real names and photos. That being said, we strongly advise to NEVER include sensitive information (address, phone number, or even your current and past employer…the one exception being LinkedIN, which is a professional social media site where it pays to show off your resume).

Keep it Clean

If you wouldn’t want your mother to read/see it, don’t post it.  And only allow photos of yourself that you’d be proud for an employer to see (the number of employers using social media to check up on applicants and current employees is on the rise).  You can always ask people to un-tag you in photos they upload that you don’t approve, or un-tag yourself.  Remember, this is how you’re seen online, so put your best foot forward.

Only Friend People You’ve Met

Your niece?  Friend her.  The salesman you met at a convention?  Friend him.  A stranger introducing himself?  You can always send a private message in reply, but don’t “add” him until you’ve met (or spoken outside of social media).

Post Appropriately

  • Send a message to privately talk to someone (not a comment or status update)
  • Post on a friend’s wall if it’s for a specific person, but mutual friends might also like what you’re posting (like a video or song)
  • Post a status only about general moods/ideas that all your friends might enjoy (like how you’re escaping a hot day, or that you loved a new movie)
  • Only comment on a post or status if it’s relevant to that post (Example: if the original post is “I love having breakfast for dinner!,” comment “Me too; pancakes are my favorite!” instead of “We haven’t seen each other in so long!”  That’s better for a separate wall post or message.)

Use these as a starting point to get yourself settled in the social media world.  Social media is how you represent yourself online, so have fun with it!