It is a common misconception small town businesses cannot put up a fight against their Fortune 500 city competitors. But a company with access to the Internet has access to the same market. Kelsey Research found that 70 percent of consumers go online first when looking for a business. Their research also showed that only 1 percent of respondents have never used the Internet to research, then purchase offline from a local business.

Working offline is a convenient timesaving trick for those who want to perform some tasks without an Internet connection.

Each time you open your e-mail program (such as Outlook Express) or visit a Web site, the information you access can be stored on your computer and saved for future use. This allows you to retrieve e-mails or Web sites you have previously downloaded or visited and perform some tasks offline.

In the twenty-first century the phrase "never talk to strangers" is good advice even for adults. Although many may feel safe behind their computer screens, mother is still right -- strangers cannot always be trusted, even on the Internet. Recent news about the "Craigslist Killer" -- a medical student who was accused of using Craigslist to rob users upon meeting and ultimately killing one -- has left many Missourians skeptical of how safe it is to buy and sell items online.