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Free Wi-Fi in Downtown Vegas: What You Should Know
November 11, 2014 •
[dropcap] H [/dropcap]aving free Wi-Fi is a great attribute to any public location. In fact, it can sometimes be used as a marketing tactic to lure people into a specific establishment. If there are three coffee shops or other establishments in the downtown Las Vegas area, and only one of them offers free Wi-Fi to its customers, than odds are, this small factor will become the decision maker as to which business you visit. There are many locations that offer free Wi-Fi in Vegas but before you look at the situation as a win-win, “Yay Free Wi-Fi,” consider these tidbits on Wi-Fi connections and how misuse can ultimately affects the user.
Using Anti-Virus And Antispyware Software
The first step to protecting yourself against any type of Internet threat (internally: protecting your device from sites you visit; and externally: protecting your devices against sites infiltrating you) is to invest in well-reviewed anti-virus and antispyware software. Typically, when you purchase a new computer or laptop, even some phones, they already have protective software installed in them. However, often times this pre-installed software has an expiration (30-day, 90-day, even up to a year) of free service then it is expected that you pay for a license for the software. It is important to keep track of this. This software prevents hackers from evading your device, or planting viruses or other malware that infiltrate your security.
In the same line of defense, make it a habit of ALWAYS creating strong passwords. Hackers break into systems and steal encrypted password files as they eavesdrop on encrypted exchanges across the Internet. Using this systematic approach, hackers can guess passwords at the rate of 1 billion guesses a second. Don’t make it easy for them.
Checking Security Levels of Public HotSpots
It is important to always check the security level of the network you are using. This concept is not a matter of trust in the business owner. Hackers are rarely, if ever, the actual proprietor offering free Wi-Fi. It is usually a third party menace using the Wi-Fi to gain access to unsuspecting laptops. Newer computer softwares such as Windows 7 and Windows 8 aid in evaluating and minimize network security risks.
Using Encrypted Websites
Using an encrypted network is also helpful. Encryption is the key to keeping your personal information secure online. Encryption scrambles the information you send over the Internet into a code so it’s not accessible to others. When you’re using wireless networks, it’s best to send personal information only if it’s encrypted.
When using a public connection refrain from doing too much personal work involving passwords, financial or private information. If you must enter credit card numbers while using a public network, make sure the web address begins with https: (the "s" stands for secure). WEP and WPA are common, but they might not protect you against all hacking programs. WPA2 is the strongest.
Where many businesses offer free Wi-Fi as a perk to its customers, they are not legally held responsible for hacking or any other misfortune that occurs from your use of the their Wi-Fi so it is very important to protect yourself and your information.
Do you have any security tips you would like to share for your fellow Las Vegans? Leave your comments below!