Privacy, Passwords, and Security


If only identifying a hacker was this easy.

One of our clients was on vacation and his wife's Facebook account got hacked. Long story short, she was on the hotel's free wifi. Someone on the same network was able to get in via the free online hotspot and pretty much do whatever they wanted. Fortunately, our client is fairly tech savvy. He marched down to the front desk and showed the hotel manager how open the network was--immediately they shut down the entire network.

You never know what's behind the infrastructure you are using to get on the net. If you are on a public wifi, that appears to have password protection to access, you are not immune. My client immediately started using his phone and then logged into his work's VPN (virtual private network). Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). If you don't know what that is, or how to do it, there are many cost effective and quite robust VPN programs available. For a mere $30/year, we all use a fairly solid service when we are remote.

If we haven't convinced you yet, here is another true story about how easy it is to get "hacked" even on a somewhat secure wifi, on an airplane:

I got hacked mid-air while writing an Apple-FBI story
--Steven Petrow, Special for USA TODAY February 24, 2016

“I don’t really need to worry about online privacy,” I used to think. “I’ve got nothing to hide. And who would want to know what I’m up to, anyway?”

Sure, I’m a journalist, but I’m not an investigative reporter, not a political radical, not of much interest to anyone, really.

That was last week, when the standoff between the FBI and Apple seemed much more about principle than practice to me. That’s when I thought I’d write a column on whether this legal fight matters to regular folk — people like my mother, a retired social worker; my best friend, who works in retail; or even my 20-year-old niece in college. That was before I found out — in a chillingly personal way — just why it does matter. To all of us. Read Entire Story>


If you aren't sure how to set up a VPN, give us a call or drop us a note. And, we'll tell you how we do it. For obvious reasons, we aren't going to list the programs we use here.