Tag Archives | online

How Can Students Protect Themselves Against Online Fraud?

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Cybercrime is on the increase, and we are all at risk. It is easy to assume that cyber criminals target the wealthy or the elderly, but statistics show that the most common targets are those on lower incomes and individuals who spend more time online. In other words, today’s American students are right at the top of the risk profile.

The effects of cybercrime are not restricted to financial loss, as serious as it is. Even if the fraudulent transactions are relatively minor, the consequences can have repercussions that run on for years, with an impact on your credit score that can affect your ability to get a loan or mortgage when you have completed your studies. Here are five tips relating to cybercrime that every student needs to know:

1) Heed the warnings

If you get a warning that your information has been breached, take it seriously. Research shows that one in five people who receive such warnings become fraud victims, compared to one in 20 of those who do not. This doesn’t mean clicking on links in emails; if you receive something suspicious, call your bank and ask if it’s a real threat.

2) Watch your accounts

The most popular way for fraudsters to get your details is by changing your address or adding another registered user to your account. Keep an eye on your account settings and look out for anything unusual.

3) Lack of money doesn’t mean you’re safe

Lower-income victims are actually hit harder than the wealthy. The average fraud victim is hit for $345. Among those on lower incomes, the average amount is $895. This actually means that students face a higher risk factor than wealthy workers.

4) Fraudsters love Facebook

With more than three quarters of Americans on social media, it should come as no surprise that these platforms provide rich pickings for criminals, too. Think about what information you share on your social media account. Where you grew up? The name of your pet? Your favorite high school teacher? Great, now anyone can answer your security questions for online banking.

5) Guard your bank account

Speaking of online banking, this is the most common type of non-card fraud. Watch your account closely and check the individual transactions. Fraudsters commonly go for multiple small amounts rather than one big hit, gradually bleeding their victims over time.

Vigilance is key

Online fraud is big business, but it is relatively easy to protect yourself by using common sense and vigilance. The greatest mistake is to think it won’t happen to you – it is exactly that attitude that the fraudsters depend on to make you a victim.

This article was contributed by Sally Writes.

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5 Things You Can Do When Traditional College is Not for You

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When the majority of the work force is college educated, it makes it nearly impossible to get a decent paying job without a degree. Traditional college is not for everyone – for a wide variety of reasons. Some people are single parents or caring for an aging parent, and some people just don’t do well in a traditional classroom environment. Today, there are a wide range of options for people that need non-traditional options. Here are five things you can do when traditional college is not for you.

1. Online Degrees

Perhaps one of the best options for people who aren’t interested in the traditional college experience is to pursue a degree online. This allows them to do coursework from anywhere and they can fit their classes in around their schedule rather than the other way around.

2. Technical Schools

Some people are good with their hands and would prefer going to a technical or trade school, rather than a traditional college or university. With an increased demand for people in technical fields, schools like the Interactive College of Technology are rising in popularity. Many students prefer colleges and degrees of this type because most, if not all, of the course work focuses specifically on their area of interest rather than forcing students to take a wide range of classes like most major colleges and universities.

3. Foreign colleges and universities

Many students that chafe under the restrictions and teaching methodologies in the US thrive in a different learning environment. Just as most everything else changes from culture to culture, so do opinions on how to best educate young people. When considering college options, don’t just limit yourself to the US.

4. Community College

Community college is a great way to get started earning a Bachelor’s degree, or even just get certified in a certain field. Community colleges tend to be closer to where you live, which means you don’t have to live on or commute to a huge campus. They also tend to be much more economical, with a wider range of financial aid available.

5. Military

In many cases, having military experience can take you just as far, if not farther than having a degree. In many cases, what employers are looking for is not specific training in their field, but rather a good track record of being able to stick with something and follow through.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of timing. Many young people graduate from high school without any real idea of what they want to do, which makes spending upwards of $50,000 on a college degree somewhat useless. Not to mention they may keep changing majors so many times it just adds extra years and extra zeroes to the price tag. Regardless of the reasons that traditional college may not be right for you, there are a wide range of other options.

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

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Getting an Online Music Education Degree

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It used to be that an online education had a stigma attached to it, as if it wasn’t a valid way to receive a top notch education. Fortunately, that stigma was met head on and disproven by world renowned educational institutions, such as the Berklee College of Music and Boston University, as well as many other colleges and universities that recognize that a quality education should be made available to those who prefer (or need) to learn online.

With online education opportunities, it is now possible to earn a bachelor’s degree in music from a top tier college or university, no matter where it is in the world, without ever having to step foot on campus.

What is Online Music Education?

Online music education combines advancements in technology with the traditional structure of a bricks and mortar music education. By offering complete music degree programs online, colleges and universities have made it possible for those who are performing musicians, private tutors, or otherwise engaged with work or family, to advance their careers with minimal interference.

The options for focus areas within the study of music are abundant and it’s possible to get a degree in any branch of music that is available at a traditional university. Some of these include:

● K-12 Music education
● Music performance
● Music industry such as marketing and promotions
● Mixing and engineering
● Music production, including for television and film
● Music psychology and music therapy
● Many more

The Benefits of Pursuing an Online Music Degree

You can save time. The most obvious benefit of pursuing a music education degree online is the convenience and flexibility of being able to learn from home, where students can literally earn a degree while wearing their pajamas. That’s a bit simplistic, but the convenience of not being tied to specific class times or having to navigate through the logistics of getting to campus is a huge draw for many people who choose to study online.

With online music courses, students log on when they’re able, and complete work at their own pace (though there are deadlines, just as with traditional education settings). Additionally, all class resources are easily accessible online whenever the student needs them.

You can (and will) devote more time to devote to learning. With many online courses and programs there is actually an increase in terms of the accountability one is held to in order to earn grades.

In traditional classes, a large percent of the course grade is weighted on class participation. What this often translates to is that as long as you are in your seat, you will get these points regardless of how much you actually engaged with the subject matter.

With online courses it is not possible to simply give points based on participation or attendance for obvious reasons. Instead, mandatory participation in chat rooms and forums is common. The end result is that more time is spent engaging in course material and increased mastery of the course content.

While this may sound more time consuming, the time saved commuting to and from campus sets this off ultimately increasing the overall time that is devoted to learning.

You can save money. Students can save money on transportation, not having to live on or near the university and pay the typically inflated housing costs associated with campus living and given the nature of the programs, textbooks and materials are often offered in digital format, thus reducing the insane costs of textbooks.

You are not limited by geography when selecting a program. Another advantage of choosing to attend school online is that the student can enroll in whatever school he or she wishes, because they’re not limited by location. For those seeking a quality music education, that’s a big perk, considering the best schools aren’t always nearby. In tandem with this benefit is the reduced cost associated with online education at a major university or college. Because the student isn’t paying for housing or travel, seeking an online education is infinitely more cost-effective, and earning a degree from a previously cost-prohibitive and distant university is now a legitimate possibility.

With online education it’s also easier to get into a quality school. There’s room for more students and less competition for spots, which is especially important for those seeking entry into an historically competitive university or college. With the logistics of a bricks and mortar school, there are only so many seats available per class. Online education, however, is only limited to the number of people a professor can handle.

Increased chance of getting an online career. For many, the notion of working from home or remotely is a necessity or a personal desire. Getting an online degree will better prepare you for this opportunity as you will become accustomed to the various technologies needed to be successful in an online work and collaboration environment. Many positions in the music industry, such as engineering or giving private lessons online are seeing major growth.

The Disadvantages of an Online Music Education

While there are very few disadvantages to pursuing an online music education, they do exist. For example, anyone who wants to take online music education courses must be self-motivated because it’s easy to procrastinate when the professor isn’t there to lead the way. In addition, online courses require good time management skills because there’s no set time or place to be in class. It’s up to the student to organize his or her schedule around making time for the courses. In short, online music education requires the student to be responsible for his or her own education. For those who can’t meet that criteria, online classes may not be the best choice.

The education received by online students is the same as the education received by those who attend school in person. The courses are taught by the same instructors using the same curriculum, and the degree earned is no different. For busy self-starters who are truly passionate about music and motivated to earn a degree, an online music education is a viable option.

This article was contributed by guest author Music Education Partners.

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How the latest edu tech can help you get a tutor in seconds

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Tutoring is a widespread profession that spans through generations; however, it has nearly gone extinct now that technology has taken over the lead. With the advent of the internet, online tutoring is gaining momentum. The latest edu tech we now have available can help anyone get a competent tutor in seconds. Teaching a course online used to be difficult, but now, smart devices and fast internet make things a lot easier.

A lot of things have changed in the last 10 years. Technology has improved tremendously, and tutors can use lots of interactive whiteboards and even VOIP services (which allow you to speak online) to deliver high-quality online lessons. Incorporating online resources into a lesson can be extremely useful, and teachers can benefit from them to become excellent tutors. How can edu tech help you find the best tutor? Read on to find out more:

The internet
The internet can be an excellent place to look for a tutor. There are lots of websites where parents and students can find the best candidate for their needs. Tutor.com for example, is a well-thought platform with tutors on a wealth of subjects, from Math and Physics all the way to English Literature and Information Technology. Many tutors have ratings that you can evaluate, and thus decide on the person that best matches with your budget and requirements.

Needless to say, there are lots of other platforms you can try out. Tutorhub.com and universitytutor.com are equally viable resources. If you have a limited budget and can’t afford to spend a lot of money, you can check out online tutorials on YouTube. Lots of teachers offer their services for free in an attempt to build themselves a reputation and stand out from the crowd.

Word of mouth
It might seem old fashioned to look for a tutor with the help of friends and family. Nonetheless, it works. Most people these days use social media, but not all have access to the shares and likes of other people. That being said, you can find a tutor for your child by asking around. Someone may know a very good online tutor you may not have heard of already. The best tutors are teachers or retirees who have references to provide, as well as a portfolio to help prove that their skills and competencies are genuine.

Personal tutoring websites
Making a website is now easier than ever before. Thanks to platforms like WordPress – that provide very cheap domain names and lots of free themes – people can now set up their own tutoring blogs, transformed into their own virtual CV to build a reputation in the online environment. They can add credentials and references, and even presentation videos that allow visitors to get to know the tutor and their teaching methods.

Personal tutoring websites can easily be found online or in the local newspaper. Most tutors realize that the best way prove themselves and their skills is with the help of advanced technology.

Social media
We mentioned that one of the best ways to find a tutor is to check the internet. While Google may offer lots of tutoring websites where you can subscribe and hire someone directly, there’s also a second method: social media. On platforms like Facebook and Twitter, one can easily spot a competent private tutor for their child. Remember to search locally so you can meet with your selected tutor in person. Make sure to perform a background check on your candidate to help you know for sure that you’re hiring someone with genuine skills and competencies.

In many countries around the globe, teachers have very low monthly wages. Since they can’t support their families and live a comfortable lifestyle, they offer their skills and experience in private under the form of tutoring. Thanks to advanced technology and the internet, finding a tutor is now easier than ever before. It’s a win-win situation that make things better, helps those in need, and allows us to understand matters we can’t fully grasp in school.

This article was contributed by guest author Jason Phillips.

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How to Effectively Manage Your Online Business While Still in School

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In this day and age, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur is budding amongst even the youngest of college students. And, who can blame these full-hearted, ambitious, and inspired kids when the likes of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates have turned entrepreneurship into multi-million dollar success stories?

As parents everywhere shake with fear at the thought of their college-aged child not finishing their degree, and students everywhere seek out ways in which to make more money than any college education could prepare them for, I suggest finding a middle ground.

There is no doubt completing a college degree has many benefits. If anything, it provides students with lessons related to setting a goal and achieving it. Moreover, statistics continue to show that having a college education will yield almost twice the annual salary when compared to someone with just a high school diploma. However, that does not discount the advantages that running an online business during college can bring.

So, why not do both?

Being able to manage an online business and the demands of gaining a college degree is no easy feat. However, with enough determination and information about how to balance both, anyone can achieve the success they seek. That’s why today we are going to discuss some of the best ways to effectively manage an online business while still in college.

Find Your Priorities
Trying to excel at both your college education (e.g. securing a perfect GPA and attending all extracurricular activities) and your online business (e.g. making money!) is near impossible. While some may be able to do so (lucky them), the truth is that is extremely difficult. In the end, it is likely that both your grades and business will suffer and that is not the goal.

Deciding early on where you see your future career path going will dictate your overall priorities. If you see your college education garnering you a successful job position post-graduation, make your grades a priority and use your online business as a side hustle to earn extra cash. On the other hand, if you see it the other way around, and your online business is going to be what makes you the big bucks, use your college education as a building block to becoming a successful business owner by learning what you can, but don’t stress over every grade.

Want a bonus tip? Try integrating your business into your schoolwork. For example, take courses that will support your business goals and give you the expertise and knowledge needed to become a more successful business owner.

Make Time Management a Daily Task
As a college student, you will experience plenty of downtime. Whether that be when you are not physically in class, on the weekends, or even on summer vacation. The same is not true when you are attempting to run an online business while in school. Your business will not wait for the weekend to end. And, it will definitely not take summer vacations. As a college student managing an online business, you must dedicate a certain amount of time each and every day to your business if you wish to be successful and continue to grow a reputable brand.

Here are some great time management tips you can try:

• Design a schedule so you can focus on school or business at any given time
• Don’t try to work on both school and your business tasks at the same time
• Arrange your class schedule so you can have off days to focus solely on your business
• Put your social life in check
• But make sure you schedule breaks into your weekly schedule – see a movie, go out with friends, visit family
• Make sure you schedule enough time for rest

Utilize Campus Resources
As a college student, you will have access to a multitude of resources that might otherwise be unavailable to you.

Not sure what type of resources college can afford its students? Look here for some of the best one available at most universities:

Experienced faculty members. Those working for universities not only have a lot of first-hand experience with what it takes to be successful after college, they have access to all of the resources you could possibly need to help you learn the modern business models and make your grades count.
Advisors. Advisors are great for keeping you on track when it comes to graduating on time. They can also help guide you when it comes to choosing a major that coincides with your newly started business. This way you learn all of the necessary skills that will carry over into your online business.
The writing center. Starting an online business typically requires you to start a blog as well. After all, a blog is the best way to inform potential customers about your company, products you sell, and overall valuable information about your niche. In addition, it’s a great way to encourage people to make purchases. Becoming a strong writer is necessary when it comes to online blogging. Utilizing your school’s writing center is just another way to achieve success with your business.
The career center. Your campus’ career center can help you determine a major, seek out internships, and practice networking and interviewing skills. All of these things are welcome because you never know far your online business might take you. Being able to function in the real world as well as behind your computer is a necessity.
Student Organizations. Without overextending yourself with too many activities (remember time management is key), there are college organizations that can introduce you to like-minded people. In fact, some universities hold business-plan competitions that you can enter that give out prize money or even invest in your idea. This may be something that comes in handy depending on what your online business is.

Become Proficient with Online Websites
One of the easiest ways to manage going to school and running your online business is to become proficient and knowledgeable about online websites. For starters, it is important to choose a well-established content management system (CMS) to build your website on. For instance, the popular WordPress platform is currently used by 58.5% of all websites worldwide. Plus, WordPress offers the following advantages:

• It’s free to download, install, use, and modify
• No experience needed – it’s easy to use
• Thousands of free and premium themes and plugins make it extendable
• It is SEO friendly
• The built-in updater makes it easy to manage
• It is safe and secure from outside threats
• It can handle multiple media types – images, video, and audio content

In addition, WordPress works for all different types of websites. This includes blogs, online shops, portfolios, galleries, a rating and review website, membership sites, and much more.

After deciding which CMS to use, the next most important thing to do is become familiar with the different web hosting providers. Finding the best solution will depend on the various features you are prioritizing as the most important – bandwidth, custom support, speed, security, feature set, and of course cost.

Altogether, if you learn about even the basics behind starting and building a website, you will find managing your online business and school much more doable.

Final Thoughts
In the end, balancing both an online business and school can be a demanding process. However, by implementing some of the above-mentioned tips, you will find managing your business and college degree is easier than you thought. All it takes is a little extra thought when it comes to your priorities, time management, and available resources.

Have you started an online business while attending college? What are some of the best management tips you can share with fellow entrepreneurs? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!

This article was contributed by guest author Dev.

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Why Online Education May Be the Best Idea for You

Image by Ilya Pavlov, unsplash.com

Image by Ilya Pavlov, unsplash.com

In recent years, online education has been a popular subject in the industry. Both teachers and students have used the internet to fuel an online education industry that is booming globally. It has eased the learning process for many, as it is no longer restricted by location and time factors. Below are some reasons why online education could be a great idea for you.

Interactivity
Online education and learning involves a process wherein courses are broadcasted live by proficient instructors. A skilled support team is always on hand during the live sessions to ensure that all questions raised by learners are answered appropriately. This helps many students understand complicated coursework and lectures at a pace that works for them.

Variability
Online education enables you to have total control on what you want to study. It offers a wider range of information as compared to traditional forms of learning. This is because it is open to a wider range of instructors.

Convenience
Convenience is considered by many to be one of the greatest benefits of an online education. Conventionally, education has been constrained to physical places—grade schools, colleges, academies, and universities. If, for any reason, you are not in a position to get education from these locations at a required time, you might end up giving up on your academic dreams. This, in most cases, applies especially if you are a working professional and are limited by factors such as time and distance. Online programs remove this obstacle, allowing for working professionals to pursue their education on their own time. A business student, for example, can earn their MBA degree online while holding a job and gaining real-world experience. This can prove invaluable for busy adults, especially those working full-time jobs.

Cost
The overall cost of online education is lower when compared to traditional modes of higher learning. The cost factor has been a major hindrance for many students who want to advance their education. The average college education can cost a student tens of thousands of dollars. This is a huge amount for many families to afford unless it is funded by education loans, which still end up in debts. However, online education provides an alternative which is both affordable and convenient.

Flexibility
Through online education, you can plan your time and space and select your preferred subjects. This is an advantage that attracts many students and will allow you to manage your time amidst several commitments.

There are several benefits of receiving an online education as compared to the traditional way of learning, making it a great option for those who may otherwise be prevented from pursuing their academic dreams.

This article was contributed by guest author Kara Masterson.

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4 Long-Term Benefits of Obtaining a Degree Online

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Image by Aliis Sinisalu, unsplash.com

Pursuing an online degree gets negative feedback from the traditional folks who prefer the old-fashioned way of spending every minute of their day in a brick-and-mortar institution. Yes, you may miss out on the campus experience including meeting new people and cutting classes. But getting a degree online has a variety of benefits you may not be aware of.

Immersive Class Discussions

An online degree, be it a bachelor’s degree in computer science or an online masters degree in education, offers access to discussion forums that give you a chance to gain an in-depth understanding of how your classmates are processing the materials you are learning from the coursework. With a traditional classroom setting, the chance to discuss the materials learned on a daily basis is minimal since students typically shy away from the opportunity to ask their professors and fellow classmates.

Enhanced Virtual Communication

When interacting online, it’s easier for students to loosen up their tone and topics. This encourages honest and constructive feedback. Of course, online educators and staff should see to it that communication between students does not come across as arrogant, confusing, or critical. In addition, online degrees provide the opportunity to become introduced to and later on, effective in, using new and upcoming communication technologies.

Broadened Information Retention

If students cannot retain the majority of what they learn in school, education would be pointless and the future would look dim. Information retention from a robust online program capitalizes on the power of multimedia by way of live or recorded lectures, webinars, and detailed infographics. Multimedia tools have been scientifically tested and proven to increase information retention by embedding sensory signals that can later be tapped into in order to recall a particular subject or topic.

Flexible Schedule

The vast majority of people who are pursuing online degrees are stay-at-home parents, full-time employees, or self-employed businesspersons. Regardless, the common denominator in these demographics is time – or the lack thereof. An online degree gives students the power to plan their lectures and assignments around the rest of their day or week. This allows them to continue working and saving money or care for their growing children or disabled loved ones.

There are many more long-term benefits to pursuing a degree through the web, such as lower tuition costs and greater ability to focus. And thanks to a growing number of schools providing advanced courses, it’s now possible to work towards higher education that will increase your job prospects and earning potential.

This article was contributed by guest author Meghan Belnap.

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Is it Worth it to become an Amazon Student?

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Amazon Student is a special service offered by Amazon which – you guessed it – caters specifically to students. Available initially as a free six month trial, the service can be extended after the trial for $39 a year, for up to four years. Once your four years of Amazon Student are up, the service automatically switches you to Amazon Prime, the regular premium service with similar benefits, for $79 a year. So what is it exactly that you’re paying for as a student?

The trial version of Amazon Student includes free two-day shipping for the whole six months, and members will receive email updates on promotions. Amazon Students get exclusive deals on products, and can take part in giveaways and contests that a non member wouldn’t be eligible to partake in. Amazon Students members can also get a $10 referral credit for each friend that they refer to Amazon Students, with no limit on the amount of friends that you refer.

Being a Amazon Student member has other bonuses that include having access to Prime Instant Video and their photo storage service. Prime Instant Video is a streaming service with access to a large amount of movies and TV shows (just as any other streaming service would have). The photo storage service is a nice additional feature which allows Amazon Student members to store an unlimited amount of photos.

For Canadian and American students who enjoy shopping online, Amazon Student is a great option, especially for the free two day shipping that it comes with. Online shoppers will save money on shipping costs and receive their purchases more quickly – which is also great for last minute gifts! Students who enjoy watching television and movies will benefit as well from the large amount of content available on Prime Instant Video. Photo lovers who may be running out of hard drive space, or wish to keep their content in the cloud will benefit from the unlimited photo storage offered. Amazon Student appears to be a great service with great features.

The biggest con here of course is the price. However, you get six free months to test out the service and see if you like it (and use it) enough to warrant the $39 per year fee. Keep in mind that you’ll be switched over to Amazon Prime once your four years are up. If you don’t want to spend the $79 per year at that point, you’ll need to find another place to store your photos.

For more information on becoming an Amazon Student, check out their website.

Highlights:

  • Six month Free Trial
  • Free Two-day Shipping
  • Unlimited Photo Storage
  • Prime Instant video streaming service
  • $10 credit per referral
  • Access to special deals, promotions and contests
  • $39 per year until graduation or four years of use
  • Automatic renewal (must provide credit card information upon sign up
  • Automatic switch to Amazon Prime ($79/year) once your four years are up
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The Online Learning Guidebook

Accredited Schools Online

Accredited Schools Online

Students are used to being online, and these days, we’re not just open to online education – some of us even prefer it. But are we doing it right? It’s such a new phenomenon that there is still learning to be done about learning online. Accredited Schools Online created a guide to help students learn more effectively in these courses. The guide looks at Khan Academy, Coursera and MIT OpenCourseware specifically, and includes advice and keys to success from a panel of experts. Check out The Online Learning Guidebook here.

The guidebook talks about the benefits of online learning, such as convenience, cost effectiveness, and improved technology and learning skills. It guides students through what to expect when taking an online course, and even identifies which students are best suited for this type of learning based on the student’s qualities.

As online education continues to grow, many schools are making it a major part of their curriculum. To help students understand this trend, the guide also includes a detailed breakdown of online learning methods and technologies, as well as information on how to identify quality online schools or programs.

Leave your thoughts on the guidebook in the comments below.

This was contributed by guest Angela Hanners.

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