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Hotspot Security

Everybody Is Watching

Hotspots, or public WiFi networks, can be a security threat to anyone using them if the proper precautions are not taken. Since hotspots don't normally use encryption, you can assume that people can see your internet traffic if you don't take steps to keep your information safe.

How To Keep Safe

Here are some steps you should take to keep your wireless device secure when using a public hotspot.

  • Make sure you are using a legitimate hotspot. Someone can easily set up pirate routers with familiar SSID names like "t-mobile" and use these to capture unsuspecting user's private information.
  • Verify that your computer's firewall is turned on and that Window's file-sharing feature is off.
  • Never send usernames, account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, confidential emails, or other sensitive data using a hotspot unless you are positive you are on a secure site.
  • Always turn your WiFi radio off when you are not using it. Hackers can set up peer-to-peer WiFi connections with your computer and use them to access your personal information directly.
  • Connect though your home PC by using remote-access software.
  • Consider subscribing to a paid hotspot network for better security. Such companies provide connection software that encrypts your data for you. You may also want to consider a VPN.
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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.