Ouch!! The horrors of public Wi-Fi

My mind was obviously in neutral when I arrived early at a pleasantly quiet hotel. Forgetting all that I had been taught, I ask the receptionist for the Wi-Fi code and get settled in with a lovely Cappuccino and my Laptop!  How relaxing it is to be able to sit and read all emails and then the news etc. It saves my phone usage and battery. I am quite chuffed  to be moving with the times!! Now, what was that shop offering on-line?

Oh Dear!! Tutor, Dave, arrives and throws his hand to his forehead as if in GREAT PAIN. He is obviously fearful as to whether he will ever get it into my head that I must be much more careful. Honestly, I felt like the really disobedient schoolgirl who has forgotten all about her previous lesson. As a shrinking violet, I stand up to greet him knowing only too well I have done something wrong! But what?! It was malware last time!Shock Horror - Malware

As we sit down he very patiently explains that anyone in the hotel and maybe outside can log into my computer and get all sorts of info from it. “Ah but I don’t do anything of importance on my computer” I explain. “Oh, so you don’t apply for your new Car Tax, your TV license, or passport and you obviously don’t buy anything through Amazon or flights etc?” he asked. OUCH – I do all of that, I thought to myself. “But surely as it is only very infrequently there is no danger? Let’s face it I am not famous or anything.” “No but identity theft is on the up and the number of victims rose by 31% to 32,058 in the first three months of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014 according to the BBC.”

As Dave was giving me these figures, which are now over a year out of date, I did begin to panic. It is only in the last year that I felt slightly pressurized by the authorities to use the computer for many of the products mentioned above.

“Don’t panic now,” he says, ” What I suggest we do is set you up with  a sensible and easy security system so that you can use your phone and computer together and avoid using public Wi-Fi. After all, you would not sit in a bar and shout out all pin numbers and show your credit cards  at the same time – then repeat every nano second you are there would you?”

Dave explains that by using my smartphone as my Wi-Fi and switching on to my personal Hotspot I can greatly reduce the risk of spies getting my personal data.

If, however, you have no other choice but to use public Wi-Fi then ONLY after you have installed this App for Apple and this for Android on your phone. Dave reiterated that for peace of mind  it really is simple to use your smartphone instead of free  Wi-Fi .

After another Capuccino I left our meeting in the knowledge that at last I was secure – well I hope I understood it all. I am sure I will be tested next time we meet in a three weeks!






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