Avoiding Free Wifi Scams While Traveling

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Most people spend a lot of time on the Internet while they are traveling. They often want to log into Facebook or handle online business transactions while they are waiting at the airport or staying at their hotel. Unfortunately, a number of scammers have recently started using mobile hotspots to entrap unsuspecting travelers. You will need to understand how these scams work and take the necessary measures to protect yourself.

How Do Wi-Fi Hotspot Scams Work?

You may be tempted to login to a free wifi hotspot rather than going to Starbucks or paying a fee to have a secure connection somewhere else. Many scam artists know that many people don’t know where they can get Internet access and will usually choose the first thing that shows up in their network administration panel. They will often create free wifi hotspots to phish data from unsuspecting travelers.

Josh Larsen is a technology expert with a well-known security firm in California. Larsen said that free hotspots are an easy way for hackers to gain access to people’s computers. They can set one up in less than a couple of minutes and most people never see anything malicious about them.

The hackers who set these up use very sophisticated technology to capture all of the data that people enter. It is almost as effective as installing keylogging software directly on the person’s machine. Hackers are even able to disguise the hotspot as a legitimate web portal. Some of them have even made the wifi look like the one used at a local coffee shop or hotel. Most businesses are aware of these scams and try to shut down any hotspots that use their name. However, you will need to be on your guard either way.

Tips to Protect Yourself

The reason that people get scammed is because they transmit data openly on an unsecured network. You can drastically reduce your chances of being exploited if you take the right steps.

First of all, you should only login through a secure connection. The mobile hotspots that scammers setup for phishing purposes are almost invariably http connections. You will be much safer if you login to a network that uses a https connection instead.

You should also try to authenticate any network before logging into it. You will be a lot safer if you are trying to login to the wifi at a hotel or coffee shop. You can ask the employees what the name of the network is that you are trying to login to. Look very carefully at the network name before logging in, because clever scam artists will try use a similar name to dupe people into thinking they are logging into a legitimate network.

You will also need to make sure that your computer or smartphone device is setup to be as secure as possible. You will need to make sure that your malware protection software is as up-to-date as possible. You should also make sure that any automatic wifi connections are disabled.

Online criminals try to take advantage of careless travelers who don’t take the measures to protect themselves. You will be much safer if you understand the risks and mitigate them as much as possible.

About the author: Kalen is a travel and technology writer. He stayed at Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls Fallsview when he was attending a seminar on IT security tips last summer.

How Do You Know Which Broadband Package Is Right For You?

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Choosing between broadband packages can be a simple and straightforward task. A little research and an assessment of your broadband requirements is all that is necessary. By observing one or all of the following, you can easily determine which package is best for you.

Needs & Desires

Before looking at the multitude of broadband choices, consider what you need and what you desire. This is best ascertained by examining your current or potential broadband setup uses for:

• Business
• Personal
• Individual
• Family

The relevance of these conditions determines the kind of broadband packages you should consider.

Small home businesses and families, or multi-person networks, require a bandwidth sufficient to meet the demands of numerous devices. Every computer, phone, tablet or other connected device utilises parts of the bandwidth. To maintain the integrity of download/upload and browsing speeds, a bandwidth which can accommodate a larger group is preferable.

Beyond this, differing broadband packages may be suitable for groups of specific sizes, whether 2-3 people, or more. This should be the guiding principal when deciding which package to adopt.

The Anatomy of Great Broadband

As with any product, a broadband package’s features and benefits should conform to a particular standard in order to be most useful. Certain qualities are key and should be prized over others. Look for:
• Broadband ranges of 30Mb-100Mb (via fibre optic cable)
• Speeds 3 to 9 times faster than the UK average
• Packages that do/don’t include a phone line
• Free internet security
• Unlimited downloads
• Download times between roughly 30 secs and 6 mins for an album, TV show, or movie respectively
• The choice of either wireless broadband or mobile broadband (broadband dongles are ideal when travelling throughout the UK, whether for business or personal reasons)

These perks amount to a higher quality and more advantageous broadband package at no extra cost. In addition, the ability to build your own bundle is crucial. If you do not fancy what is offered, create your ideal package. Phone deals offering unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines should be a given.

Premium Service

After you have assessed your needs and begun your search for the ideal broadband package, give preference to those providers who offer unlimited assistance. Find your nearest store and pay a visit. Some companies will even come to you, dispatching experts who can quickly appraise your situation, needs, and constraints. Speaking with an expert by phone is also a proactive solution.

Broadband packages are an investment. Your initial output should be justifiable with a promise of cumulative long term value. Look for:
• Free or low cost options for the first 6 months of service
• Competitive, high speed packages of 30Mb or more at £10-50 a month
• Free installation on more expensive packages
• A range of channels at even the lowest tier of service

Clarity of information is also of the utmost importance. Set aside time to investigate websites of any providers and consider the following:
• Do they explain every aspect of the process in plain, accessible language, starting with what happens as soon as you place your order?
• Can you see beforehand what each step of the installation process consists of?
• Are the nuances of the services you have ordered outlined clearly?
• Is there a basic explanation of billing?

Your ability to obtain these answers should factor into your ultimate decision.

Simple Luxury

By adhering to these points and steps, choosing the perfect broadband package can be a stressfree, easy decision. As easy as just clicking here.

Written by
Nathan Morgan has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. In recent year his focus has been on IT Security which has gained importance as the Internet has grown an avid follower of the latest gadgets

The Enduring Appeal of a Mac: Why Are These Computers So Popular?

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Apple brought out the first Mac computer in 1984, and since then these iconic computers have developed a growing following of enthusiastic fans. After using a Mac, many people decide that they would never going back to using a PC. But why are these computers so popular, and why are so many people prepared to pay higher prices for a Mac? Here are five of the most important reasons.
1. Build Quality
One of the things that has made Macs so popular over the years is the build quality. Many Mac owners will tell you that these machines are built to last. Apple takes its design very seriously, and above and beyond being beautiful products, Macs and MacBooks are seen as very tough. Of course, they don’t last forever, and if you find yourself saying “I need to sell my Mac and buy a new one”, it could be time to trade up for a new model. However, in general, you should not have to buy a new machine too frequently.
2. OS X
OS X is claimed by Apple to be the most advanced operating system in the world. It certainly has a huge appeal for Mac users, who love its simplicity of use combined with its powerful features. What’s even better, Apple regularly updates its OS, and it has recently started charging a very small price for an upgrade. So if you are still using Snow Leopard, it won’t cost that much to upgrade to Mountain Lion, and you can then enjoy a whole new OS without having to spend a fortune.
3. Secure
One of the most important benefits of a Mac is that it offers greater protection than devices running on Windows. Viruses targeting Macs are almost unheard of, and Apple claims that you do not need to invest in any antivirus software for your Mac as it will stay protected. This has been debated in recent years, but many Macs still run without using any antivirus software, which can help to save you money.
4. Seamless Integration
Because Apple designs both the hardware and the software, users get to enjoy all of the benefits that this seamless integration brings. Macs very rarely crash, and, as Apple likes to say, ‘everything just works’. Many users find this to be true, and it makes the whole experience of using a computer a lot more enjoyable.
5. User Friendly
Most Mac users would tell you that they find Apple’s way of doing things much more user friendly. When using a PC, sometimes it can be difficult to know how to solve a problem or even perform basic functions. However, with a Mac things are a lot more intuitive even if you have never used one before, making it a pleasure to use.

A Different Type of Personal Computer
Macs offer computer users with a very different experience compared to a PC, and despite being a more expensive option, Apple has a large and growing fan base for its computers. Even though tablets and smartphones are changing the way that people access computers, the Mac still has a long life ahead of it, and will be popular with fans all over the world for many years to come.

Author Bio:
Have you ever thought, “Now is the time to sell my Mac”? If so, Bradley Saunders has written widely on the topic of selling Macs and other gadgets online, and the information he provides may be of use.

5 Ways To Retrieve Data From A Crashed Hard Drive

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Some people store their entire life on a hard drive. They have photos of their young children, copies of their important documents, and everything else you could possibly think of. It’s safe to say they would be in trouble if anything bad was ever to happen. If you are one of those people who keep everything on the computer I really hope you have it backed up. Not only should it be backed up on an external hard drive, but also in the cloud where it’s even safer.

Even if you do try to back everything up in multiple places there is still a chance you don’t quite catch everything. Some things will only be on your regular hard drive and they might be really important. What will you do if you switch on your computer one morning and your hard drive crashes? You need the information back or you’ll be in trouble, so what do you do? There are some things that might work and we can take a look at them right now.

An external case

Maybe you could find a way to retrieve the files if you connected the hard drive to another computer. In order to do that you would need to take it out and put it into an external case which would connect to the other machine. It might have been something inside your old machine that corrupted the hard drive, but now that you’ve bypassed this your problem might be solved.

Data retrieval software

You can download software that promises to get your data back for you. Some people don’t like data retrieval software and they will tell you it’s unreliable, whereas others will tell you it’s great. Because it’s risky you should attempt to download a free version of the software instead of buying it. If the free version doesn’t work it will be up to you whether or not to try a paid version.

In the freezer

Take a freezer bag and put your hard drive inside it. Now put it in the freezer for 5-6 hours. I know you’re thinking I must be going crazy, but it can work. It’s meant to constrict the components long enough for you to retrieve your data, so make sure you do what you need to do before the hard drive thaws out. It will also work better if you put it in an external case.

A different operating system

Do you know how to use the Linux Live operating system? If you don’t know, use another computer and download it onto a disk. Go to the logistics page as soon as you put the CD in your broken computer and boot it up. Choose CD as the start-up system then save and exit. When the computer boots up it will now use the Linux system and you might be able to access your files.

Speak to a professional

If everything else fails you might need to go and see a professional. Just make sure the person you go and see knows what they are doing, because if they can’t retrieve your data it might be because they’re crap at their job and not because it’s lost forever. If you do find someone who can do the job properly it might cost you a lot of money, so make sure the data you want to retrieve is worth it.

Hope is not lost

How many people do you think just throw out their old computer when something goes wrong? They probably think there is no way to retrieve their data, so they don’t even try. Let us know what technique you used to finally recover yours.

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Carl Benson is a tech geek and a computer engineer by profession. He likes to keep a track of the latest technological developments and often reads tech magazines and journals. Data recovery is an issue, which he has harped upon in this post and suggests people to buy external drives inorder to meet the increasing demands of storage.

More Lawmakers Feel Censoring Social Media Doesn’t Work

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The law often has a difficult time keeping up with the pace of technology. One of the biggest challenges that lawmakers around the world have faced is trying to regulate and monitor social media. They have come up with a number of new regulations to promote censorship but most of those measures have failed. More lawmakers appear to be feeling that censoring social media is probably not a feasible approach.

Attempts to Censor Social Media

Lawmakers have proposed a number of different approaches to censor social media sites. Here are some of the laws that were created to censor social media over the last few years.


The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) was introduced by the United States House of Representatives in 2011 to prevent copyright infringement. The new law would have prevented marketers from doing business with any website that violated copyright laws and would have ordered Internet Service Providers to block all access to sites that violated copyright laws.

The law was proposed to help protect the financial stability of the entertainment industry. Many people understood the concerns that the law created, but said that the bill created a number of other concerns that they needed to voice. Many libraries and other institutions were worried that the law would expose them to prosecution. A number of social media communities and online information portals blocked themselves out a couple of months later to protest the new legislation.

Lawmakers came to realize that the new measure probably wouldn’t work as they originally wrote it. They haven’t abandoned the legislation, but seem to feel that complete censorship wasn’t the best approach.

Saudi Arabia Efforts to Censor Social Media

The Saudi Arabia Telecommunications Authority has proposed a new bill that would allow them to censor social media. However, Prince bin Talal has recently protested the new legislation. He said that blocking social media is a “losing war” and the government will need to find a new approach.

The prince and many other supporters have protested these proposals. They said that social media is a powerful tool for citizens to make their voices heard and the government would be unwise to implement such measures. A number of rights groups have backed bin Talal and the potential law is losing support among other lawmakers as well.

Censorship in China

Government officials in China have been working diligently to censor social media. Many experts have accused government officials of trying to use censorship as a propaganda tool. However, recent articles have found that it has been largely ineffective. Kelly McParland of the National Postrecently published this article stating that many citizens are openly using social media to mock government officials. McParland has said that many people have felt that the government’s efforts are backfiring on them.

Governments Reevaluating How they Manage Social Media

Governments are trying to understand how to regulate social media. They are still trying to find out the best way to do so. They will continue to look for new ways to do so in the future, but are starting to realize that censorship may not be an approach that can work.

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About the author:Kalen is an Internet marketer who writes tips about social media aggregation and other topics for My Life. He feels that connecting social networks together can help people use their social media more effectively.

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