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Martha Huizenga

Protecting Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks - DC Access

Smart Surfing: Protecting Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks

By Martha Huizenga | Internet, WiFi

Protecting Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks - DC Access

When DC Access started offering Wireless Internet (WiFi) back in 2003, public WiFi hotspots were few and far between. Today, there are hotspots around every corner – at coffee shops and restaurants, airports and hotels, schools and libraries, parks and museums.

Smartphones take advantage of the proliferation of public WiFi networks by allowing you to connect to the Internet using WiFi rather than your provider’s 3G or 4G network – which can be a great way to avoid overages on your data plan. But it also means that many more people are connecting to public WiFi networks on a daily basis, often without thinking about privacy and security.

If you have WiFi at home or at work, it’s easy to fall into the habit of hopping on WiFi in other locations and not adjusting your settings or behavior.

DC Access recommends following these steps to keep your data secure:

  • In order to keep your data secure when using public wifi, only send information to sites that are encrypted. Encryption scrambles the message you send over the internet so it cannot be read and understood by prying eyes. You can determine if a website is encrypted if the URL starts with “https” – the “s” stands for secure.
  • What about apps? Unfortunately many mobile apps do not adequately encrypt data. We recommend using a secure wireless network if you are transmitting personal data to and from an app.
  • Most mobile hotspots are not secure – do not assume that public wifi is secure.
  • Always log-off of an account when you are finished working; leaving accounts open on public wifi leaves your data more susceptible to theft.
  • Consider using a VPN (virtual private network) if you often rely on public wifi. VPNs encrypt the information transmitted between your computer and the internet.
  • Change the settings on your devices – including smartphones – so that they don’t automatically connect to public WiFi networks. Connect to public networks manually, or set your devices to request approval before connecting. That way you can select known, trusted networks and avoid the possibility of inadvertently connecting to “honeypots” – malicious Wifi networks set up by hackers who are counting on users to let their guard down.
  • You also want to turn off file sharing, which makes you vulnerable to hackers and snoopers when you connect to a public network.

Follow these tips to help keep your data secure over public WiFi.
Additional information can be found at www.onguardonline.gov

Thanks to blog contributor Amy Southerland

Cutting the Cord – How do I live stream sports?

By Martha Huizenga | Internet

 

You’ve decided to cut the cord and sever ties with your expensive cable contract.  You know DC Access provides the reliable and fast Internet service you need to watch your favorite TV shows and movies at home through a digital media device and online streaming services.  But now it’s time to set up your NCAA brackets and watch the Big Dance to the Final Four – how are you supposed to watch those early games without cable?

Live sports viewing is one of the more difficult parts of cutting the cord.  But there’s good news!  Lately, more and more cable sports networks are offering their broadcasts to all live events online without a cable contract.  Not sure where to start?  Here’s a quick run-down of the best options for all sports lovers.

Streaming Services – Streaming services are a good fit for many sports fans because they are available on any devices – TV, tablet, or phone.  For the die-hard sports fan, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue (available in select markets) are good choices for streaming live sporting events.  Both offer live streaming of the ESPN suite of channels plus TNT, TBS, and TruTV.  

League Streaming Subscriptions – All four major sports leagues in the US now offer subscriptions to their full lineups via their own apps.  NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, NFL Mobile App, and NHL GameCenter Live can guarantee you never miss a Hail Mary pass or walk-off home run!  College hoops fan? CBS All Access College Sports Live gives you access to all of the excitement and drama during the season.

Local HDTV – Go the new-old-fashioned route!  Many local games are still broadcast on network channels which can be accessed with an HDTV antenna. We can help you get wired up..  You can find the NBA on ABC, NFL on FOX, CBS and NBC, MLB on FOX, and NHL on NBC.

Are you set for the NCAA Tournament? There’s still time to get DC Access installed before the Big Dance is complete and this year’s Cinderella story emerges.  Get off the bubble and contact us to get dancing today!