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IFA Riddle Winners, and Safer Browsing

Using Laptops at the Library

IFA Riddle Winners

On an earlier broadcast we asked our listeners how is it that our first broadcast from IFA was 13 years ago, and this is our 12th broadcast, while never missing a show?

Listeners Dean in Camas, Washington and Larry in Metamora, Michigan both answered correctly and, since they both submitted their answers around the same time, we’re awarding them both a prize. Congratulations!

Jan lives in a rural area and has to rely on satellite internet, she uses her local library’s WiFi connection sometimes, and she had the following question:

We live in a very rural area and only have satellite internet. I go to the local library several times a week to save using up our satellite bandwidth. Is there a thing like a router to put on my laptop to make it more safe there? I haven’t had any problems but it seems like my friends are getting hacked more and more. I do online banking there if our internet is down.

Your banking itself should be more protected by virtue of using encrypted connections, you should see that when you log in to your account, the address says https://YourBank.com, https means HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (or “Over TLS”, or “Over SSL,” it all just means secure though),  and it transmits encrypted information to keep your data private.

If you can add another layer of security, you could tunnel through a VPN or Virtual Private Network. A VPN, if properly set up, would keep all of your data encrypted https or not, and it would render anyone in the library’s network unable to capture any of that data and get any kind of useful information out of it.

You could technically set up a VPN server at home, but that would require a) that your connection is actually up and running, and b) that you don’t mind running all of your data through it, which defeats the purpose of you going to the library in the first place. Instead you can pay for a service, you can usually find them for around $5/month, some a free if you don’t transfer a lot of data, some are pay as you go.

Are you likely to get hacked at the library?

Having said that,the odds of anyone sniffing your data at the library and hacking you in any way are very low, your friends are probably experiencing the result of setting up mediocre security questions on online services.

For example, if you click on “I forgot my password” when logging in to your email account, very often you will be met with a question like “what’s your dogs name?” or “where were you born?” a lot of the time what you share on social media makes those questions public knowledge. If you’re worried about those types of accounts being hacked, have a look at your security questions and either change them for harder ones to guess, or just lie… I mean “Jan” certainly doesn’t sound like the name of someone born in Laos, maybe when your bank asks for your place of birth as a way to retrieve your password, well… maybe it’s time to become Laotian Jan.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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