Friday, October 16, 2009

Stop-Look-Listen Before You Use "Free Wireless"

Should I Use Free Wireless?

Tips to Safer Working and Playing Online

There you are, it is a gorgeous day and you take the laptop outside to the local café or coffee shop to work or play online. Or, maybe you are frantically trying to get a little work done while sitting in the hotel lobby or airport. You notice a free wireless network pops up and you think you have hit the jackpot. You select the netwo

rk, it does not ask for a password, the web browser loads and you begin to enjoy your time working or playing on the internet. But is this a wise thing to do?

Here are a few helpful tips to help you analyze if you should hop on that free wireless connection – Stop-Look-Listen

1. Stop: Think first about what transactions you may be conducting online. Would you shout out your bank account number for all to hear? Then you may not want to do online banking while on a free wireless network. If you do not know the security of the network, when you type in your account number, you may be shouting it out for cybercriminals to hear.

2. Look: When the network popped up, did it prompt you to type in a passcode or password to log in? If so, it is very likely

you are on a secure network. Look next to the network name for a padlock icon. This indicates that the owner only lets people on the wireless network that know the passcode.

3. Listen: Heed the software update messages from Microsoft or Apple that prompt you to install the latest version of your operating system. This will help protect you.

We recommend you save your very sensitive browsing and transactions when you can connect through a direct internet connection or on a trusted wireless network.

If you must have the flexibility of conducting sensitive transactions anytime, anyplace, consider purchasing a broadband card or a mobile wireless hub such as the new MiFi. If you would like to see the mobile card or MiFi in use, you can ask for a demonstration at your local cellular phone store. The broadband card allows you to connect your PC to the internet using a secure connection. The MiFi allows you and four

other PCs within 30 feet of the MiFi to connect using a unique password to the internet via a secure connection. You can use MiFi almost as easily as a cell phone. It even works in a moving car.

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