Amy Rogers Nazarov, a local freelance writer and social media manager, has been a DC Access customer for 7 years. Amy works from home and needs reliable internet connectivity. Amy was drawn to DC Access because they are a local company that supports the neighborhood. She also loves that on the rare occasion that there is a service issue, Matt, Martha, and their team respond promptly and effectively. Amy is also a big fan of The Pretzel Bakery‘s new, bigger location – all the better to wash down a Pretzel Bomb with a big glass of Basil Lemonade!
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
It’s political crunch time as the party faithful head to their conventions to nominate 2016 Presidential candidates. The Republicans head to Cleveland July 18-21 presumptively to nominate Donald Trump, while the Democrats gather in Philadelphia July 25-28 to likely nominate Hillary Clinton. Much has been made of this presidential cycle – Will we see our first woman presidential nominee? Will Trump’s nomination be contested in a divided Republican party? Who will be named Vice Presidential candidates? Not all of us were lucky enough to garner invites to the conventions. Luckily, the conventions will be live-streamed, and apps and subscription services can help give us a firsthand view of the proceedings. There’s no longer any need to rely on expensive long-term cable contracts to watch the convention speeches. Everything will be available to you online.
Want to feel like you’re on the convention floor? There’s an app for that! The Republican National Convention app, called RNC 2016 and available for iOS and Android, will livestream the convention and have 360 degree video. The app also has a map of the convention and event schedule. You’ll be able to watch all of the speeches straight from your smartphone or tablet. We expect the Democratic National Committee to announce their app shortly.
Also new this year, for the first time Twitter and CBS News are partnering to stream CBS News’ live coverage on Twitter. This partnership will give consumers the unique and interactive opportunity to share their thoughts about the convention on Twitter while watching the CBS News journalists report on the proceedings, all in real-time.
But maybe you want to keep your commentary in the room with your viewing companions – there are plenty of options for cord cutters to watch the convention on your home TV. Subscription streaming services like SlingTV and Playstation Vue will provide livestreams of the conventions. With SlingTV you can watch on CNN (with a basic package) and HLN (as an add-on channel). Playstation Vue owners can watch the convention from whichever politically leaning channel you prefer – CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC.
No matter your side of the aisle, you’ll be able to rest in your most comfy chair at home and watch the presidential nominations live.