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San Clemente Journal

The INTERNET: Not a scary place anymore

May 01, 2003 08:42PM ● By Don Kindred
by Roby LaPorte

     It’s true; you don’t need to be a high-tech, computer wizard to get around the Internet anymore. With competitive pricing for high speed connections, user friendly websites and so much information available, the World Wide Web is the place for taking care of just about anything.

     You can get your Christmas shopping done, grocery shopping, check the weather, up-to-the-minute news, even check out the surf via web cams of your favorite surf spots before you even leave the house. With absolute ease, you can find out what’s playing at the local theatre, who is in concert locally, catch up on the soaps and stay in close touch with friends and family, no matter how far away they are. You can shop at the mall without getting in your car. Even if you are brand new to computers, there are programs being offered by good folks right here in San Clemente, The Cyber Café, to get you going on the computer, the first step in finding a wealth of fun and information via the World Wide Web.

     Over the past couple of years, things have really begun to move forward in cyber country. After a lull in which people were afraid to use the Internet because of the lack of security, you can now feel safe and assured with all the new protection features available. Statistics show an ever-growing number of purchases being made through the Internet. Thanks to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed for transmitting private documents), you no longer need to worry whether or not some computer hacker is going to grab your credit card number and use it somewhere. It is no chancier to buy via the web than it is to use your credit card to fill up the car. SSL encrypts the data between your computer and the website you’re shopping so as to be invisible to the public.

     A good example of what the Internet can do for you is when you want to plan a trip. These days the convenience of the Internet is beyond compare. From right there in front of your computer, you can easily book your flight. Not only can you book them online, you can shop around different airlines and within minutes get the lowest fare available. The same goes for reserving a room; online rates have never been cheaper. As for almost anything else, there are a number of websites that do the work for you, getting you the room you want, from luxury suites to a quiet, cozy little room by the beach or in the mountains. Whatever extras you may be looking for, you’ll get them at a price you’ll love, one that you couldn’t possibly walk into a hotel and get. After you have your flight and accommodations taken care of, another click gets you into a rental car, again, saving money and time. So now your trip is completely taken care of. With the money and time you’ve saved you can go to the course and get in an extra 18 holes with a big smile on your face.

     The best news of all is the fact that millions of good people are doing these things online all the time, and doing it safely and successfully. So, don’t be afraid. It is time to take advantage of the Internet and all the wealth of time and money saving information. It’s all right there at your fingertips.