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Protecting your personal or financial information when using a public wi-fi

Unsecured wi-fi networks, like those found at airports, restaurants and coffee shops - are public networks that are available for anyone to use.  Some of these are managed by legitimate businesses while others are managed by “Honey Pot Operators”. 

In either case - on an open network - users are generally not protected from other users, hackers who get into that network, or viruses.  Some open networks are operated with the sole purpose of gaining access to the information of the people who use them.  Anything you type to gain access to web sites can be stolen by the honey pot operator and once they’ve gained access they can also steal anything stored on the computer’s hard drive.

How can you protect yourself?
Of course - make sure you have adequate anti-virus and internet security protection.  The sure proof way to avoid jeopardizing your personal and financial information is to limit your activity on these networks to browsing the web, reading the news, and watching videos.  Don’t use anything that you have to login to.

Tools for recording conversations

And why would you want to do that?

Some of my best thoughts come from conversation.  A phone conversation, a chat, conversations with myself when I am driving down the road.  I think I’m a pretty smart girl.  Quite often, some of my conversations get quite deep.  The answer to something I’ve been looking for is in the conversation.  But an hour later when the conversation is done; so is that thought.  Even if I could write that one thought down, it is dependent on the conversation that came before and the conversation that came after.

While the brain (another thing I’ve always been interested in) is a far better ‘computer’ with far more capability and I’m sure that it captures everything .. we’ve got our lives so cluttered with crap that recollection is hard to come by.

So these are the tools I use ...

Yelp is using Facebook to personalize your experience

Facebook, for quite a while now, has been sharing our personal information across the web.  It’s all about marketing and who owns the demographics.  Does it jeopardize your identity?  Yes - it does.  Can you stop it?  Not really.  You can spend your life blocking the multitude of applications that want your personal information.  Can you opt out later or take them to court?  Sure.  Good luck with that.

WIth YELP hooked into Facebook, you can see whose looking at what, what they “Like”, and what they’re doing on the Yelp site.  Some of you might like that.  If you own a business it might be good for your business.

Personally, I don’t want to publish what I am buying or reviewing or website I am visiting.  To me; that’s private information ...