Category Archives: Software

Best Free Phone Services on the Web

Business tips from the Ascentive team

Despite the birth of email and instant messenger, the phone is still an important part of business. People use the phone to connect with a voice they think they can trust that represents a particular product or service. But phone service doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg; here are the best free Phone Services on the web.


Make free VoIP calls from your Web-enabled mobile phone through Wi-Fi with GoSIP’s free download.


Fring harnesses your phone’s SMS technology to deliver free VoIP calls wherever you are. It also lets you chat with friends on most major chat clients.


Mobivox offers a free download that allows individuals to call anyone in the world, regardless of the phone they use.


FreeConferenceCall offers accounts that can accommodate up to 96 users.

Free Audio Conferencing:

FAC provides free conference calls and offers toll-free conferencing for participants at 7.9 cents per minute.


Offering a “complete internet fax service,” RingCentral’s free trial allows you to receive faxes as emails, to fax any MS Office file and to sign faxes electronically.


FaxDigits offers most of its services – a dedicated fax line, incoming faxes as PDFs, unlimited inbound faxes – for free. A premium services suite runs users $7.95 per month.

PamFax via Skype:

Although not quite free, some Skype plug-in developers have harnessed the power of Skype to send faxes to any fax machine in the world. Users pay in Skype credits per page with no monthly fees.


WalkieTalkie, Conference Calls and Chatterbox are just a few of the new applications Facebook offers. Facebook has also become a proving ground for VoIP-freeware development.


Ekiga provides free VoIP for Linux enthusiasts.


Acquired by Google,  with GrandCentral one phone number makes all your phones ring.


JahJah  links two traditional phone lines together without downloads


KPhone is a Linux-based softphone project based on volunteer efforts.


Earthlink’s free SIP phone download.


NadizPhone is a VoIP-enabled social networking site that allows free calls between members.


SighSpeed is an award-winning VPS that is free for personal use. Business plans start at $19.95 per month.


TelTel has a free download, but calls cost TelTel credits, which must be paid in $10 increments.

VoIP Discount:

VoIP Discount offers free VoIP calls, but only to trial members. After the trial period, users must buy credits, which gives them 120 “free days” of calling.

AIM Call Out:

Now that every major IM client has its own VoIM service, VoIM less about features and more about brand loyalty. For those still clinging to AOL, here’s yours.

Google Talk:

Finally, Google Talk is a freeware voice over Internet protocol VoIP client application offered by Google.


Photo Credit


Report links Cyberbullying and Suicide

Internet safety tips from the Ascentive team

Although the taunting of children by their peers always been a fact of life while one grows up, the growing popularity of the Internet in our society has escalated bullying to alarming proportions. Known as Cyberbullying, this type of bullying usually occurs when individuals utilize information and communication technologies to execute deliberate, repeated, and hostile actions intended to harm others. Whether it’s creating a fake social network member page to impersonate another child, transmitting harmful text messages or images, or posting malicious comments somewhere on the Internet, CyberBullying can seriously hurt a child. Mean comments, lies, embarrassing photos, videos, or malicious polls can be spread to a wide audience through texts, email or through posts on social networks. Some photos are even doctored with Photoshop to make them even more embarrassing and harmful.

Even worse, studies are now connecting Cyberbullying and teen suicide. A report by Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D of the Cyberbullying Research Center notes that victims of Cyberbullying were almost twice as likely to have attempted suicide when compared to children who have not experienced Cyberbullying at all.

So what can you do to prevent Cyberbullying?

Talk to your Child

The first and most crucial step to take to prevent CyberBullying is to talk to your child about it. Make sure they know CyberBullying is wrong, and explain your expectations for their behavior. Encourage your children to come to you immediately if anything gets out of hand, and make sure they know never to take revenge on a cyberbully.

Create a Code of Conduct

Warn your children that if they would not say something to someone in person, then they shouldn’t communicate it online. And remember to set guidelines for the use of their computers and cellphones.

Online Security

Remind your children to keep their passwords safe, and not to share anything private online. Have them create their email and IM accounts with you, and make sure they do not put their personal info in their profile or screen name.

Delete Suspicious Emails

Train your child to always trash suspicious emails without opening them.

No Pretend Behavior

Warn your child never to pretend that someone they are not in chat rooms, IM’ing, or on social networks.

Filter Emails

If your child is cyberbullyied via email, use an email filter to direct all the cyberbully’s messages to go to a special folder, then forward the messages to the email provider.

Block Bullies

Tell your child that they can block bullies from their messenger buddy list by clicking on the “Block Buddy” button.

Research School Policies

Review your children’s school’s policies on bullying and discuss them with your children. And if there are not any policies on bullying in place, ask whether there are any plans to create them.

Install Tracking Software

Tacking software is special software that tracks malicious emails and automatically forward these emails to the sender’s Internet Service Provider.

Watch your Children

Finally, continue watch your children’s behavior. Ask your children how they interact with their friends and what kinds of problems pop up.

Reputation Creators launches Student Guard to combat CyberBullying

Internet security tips from the Ascentive team

The Internet has changed the world in more ways than we can ever imagine. Of course the Internet helps us immensely, the power and reach of the online world can also have devastating consequences. One problem both children and parents face daily is the spread of CyberBullying.

A cyberbully uses the Internet, cell phone, or other device to send or post text or images to try to hurt or embarrass other people. Whether it’s creating a fake Facebook or MySpace page to impersonate a fellow student, repeatedly sending hurtful text messages and images, or posting cruel comments on the Internet, Cyberbullying can have seriously harmful effects on children. Nasty comments, lies, embarrassing photos and videos, and snide polls can be spread widely through texting, and by posts on social networking sites like Facebook.

According to estimates, the average kid in the US now spends as much as seven hours on the Internet every day. That’s a lot of time spent online, and with a lot of bullies out there, anyone and everyone is open to threats and abuse. And it seems that the presence of countless social networking websites today has made the problem even worse. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube have made it easy for people to interact with each other online. Although these websites have plenty of positive aspects, they have given an impetus to CyberBullying.  The problem is that private information, embarrassing photos and slanderous comments can be easily posted on these sites and all of this definitely creates a negative impact. Unfortunately, CyberBullying can lead to depression, poor grades, anxiety, fighting, and, in some cases, suicide

Experts say that Cyberbullying has reached immense proportions. Although CyberBullying is illegal in many states in the US, parents still need to be particularly careful about what their children are doing online, and this is precisely where Tim Niedel can help.

Tim Niedel is the CEO of Reputation Creators Corp, a company that has emerged as the frontrunner in the campaign to stop the menace of Cyberbullying. The company has come out with a breakthrough product known as “Student Guard” which allows parents to keep tabs on what their kids are doing online.

Reputation Creator Corp’s Student Guard actually allows parents to access private and secured web portals at any time of the day to look at the videos, photos and text messages posted on these portals. This allows parents to monitor what their kid is doing at Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the other social networking websites. Student Guard allows parents to protect their child, and can take preventive action if the child is trying to bully someone else.

How Cyberbullies Attack

Computer safety tips from the Ascentive team

As technology evolves exponentially, it’s crucial that parents, educators, and local law authorities keep abreast of the potential threats that children may encounter online. Unfortunately, Cyberbulling is a rapidly growing problem. A cyberbully uses the Internet, cell phone, or other device to send or post text or images to try to hurt or embarrass other people. Here are the types of abuse to watch out for:

A popular form of Cyberbullying, trolling is the act of sending or posting electronic messages that are deliberately hostile, insulting, mean, angry, vulgar or insulting, to one person or several, either privately or publicly to an online group.

Inspired by popular Internet gossip sites, gossiping occurs when a person sends or publishes cruel rumors, or false statements about a person to intentionally damage the victim’s reputation or friendships.

Message Board Posts
Message Boards are online bulletin boards where people post anything they choose. Although there are many good bulletin boards on the net, there are many hostile message boards like 4chan that children should avoid, as the postings on these types of message boards are abusive.

Harassment is when the electronic bully repeatedly sends insulting, hurtful, rude, or insulting communications via email or text messages.

Impersonation the act of breaking into someone’s account by stealing a password and changing it, or by maliciously using information provided by a friend.

Happy slapping
Happy slapping occurs when an unsuspecting victim is physically attacked as an accomplice films or take pictures of the incident. The image or video is then posted online at a video site like YouTube or distributed electronically.

Text Wars
Similar to harassment, a Text War occurs when several people gang up on the victim, sending the target hundreds of emails or text messages, resulting in high cellphone bills.

Hate polls
A hate poll asks readers to vote on specific hateful questions, such as “Ugliest freshman” or “Biggest slut on campus?”

A more sophisticated form of Cyberbullying, this is the act of a computer hacker sending malicious computer code to the victim’s system in order to spy on the victim.

Images and videos
A result of the popularity of camera cell phones, photographs and videos of unsuspecting victims are now taken in bathrooms and locker rooms, then distributed online to humiliate the victims.

Outing occurs when a Cyberbully releases a victim’s confidential, private, or embarrassing information online, including private email messages or images meant for private viewing.

Trickery is when a person purposely convinces another person into divulging secrets, private information or embarrassing information, and subsequently publishes that information online.

A relatively minor form of Cyberbullying, exclusion occurs when someone intentionally excludes another person from an online group or community.

Where to watch out for Cyberbullies

Tips to keep your child safe in a technology based society from the Ascentive team

Although approximately half of U.S. students are impacted by bullying each school day on buses, in the cafeteria, gym, hallways, playground, and in classrooms, cyberbullying is on the verge of becoming an even greater threat. Cyberbullying is the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. You can help stop cyberbullying by keeping an eye out for it and notifying the right people when it occurs. Here are six places where cyberbullies attack, and what to do when it happens.

Cell Phones

It’s pretty much a given that your child has a cell phone. Cell phones are a great way to keep track of our children, as they allow us to get ahold of them immediately. Unfortunately, cyberbullies can attack your child through hurtful text messages and inappropriate photos and videos. Encourage your kids to come to you quickly if they are ever contacted inappropriately, and make sure they understand never to do the same to anyone. And above all else, warn them never to give out the password to their phone.

Instant Messages

Similar to cellphones, cyberbullies can also attack through messaging clients like AOL instant messenger, iChat, or Google Chat. Tell your child to use their messaging client’s “block” button in the event that they are approached. And if their messenger doesn’t have a block button, have them switch to another one.


Your child’s email account is also fertile ground for cyberbulling. Fortunately, there are several remedies for it. If your child experiences cyberbullying via email, you can use an email filter and arrange for all the messages from the cyberbully to go to a special folder, then forward them on to the mail provider. You can also purchase special software for your computer that can track cyberbully emails from random people and send these emails to the cyberbully’s Internet Service Provider.

Chat Rooms

Although they can be a lot of fun to hang out in, a chat room can also be very dangerous, as a child often does not know whom they are really chatting with. If your child creates any chat accounts, make sure they do not put their name, age, address, or phone number in their profile or screen name, or pretend that they are someone they are not.


A blog can be a great means of self-expression, but also a source of trouble with cyberbullies when it comes to blog comments. If your child receives inappropriate comments on their blog, have them shut off the blog’s comments feature, and report the comments to the provider of the blogging software providers (such as Blogger or WordPress).

Social Networks

Finally, social networks like Facebook or Myspace are often a favorite hunting ground for cyberbullies. A common tactic is to create a fake Facebook or MySpace page to impersonate a fellow student and act inappropriately toward friends. In the event of an attack on a social network cyberbully, tell your child to contact the administrators of the social network immediately.

Many parents opt for monitoring software, such as BeAware, which can monitor chat rooms, instant messages, email, blogs, and even social networks.

%d bloggers like this: