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wifi hotspots
scare tactic
account passwords
horror story
personal emails
mark zuckerberg
master password
credit card information
second nature
VPN For Public Wifi Hotspots
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VPN for Public Wifi Hotspots

For your safety and privacy you should use a VPN for public wifi hotspots. It's not that hard to set up, it's not that expensive, and it's not difficult to understand. In fact, the most difficult thing you'll have to do is to care enough to connect to the VPN before you start browsing.

This thing is that using a VPN on public wifi is like wearing a seatbelt. You don't think you really need it until you read a horror story or experience one yourself. In the latter example, it's too late to do anything. Now we've been taught (at least in The USA) long enough to wear our seatbelts that it's second nature and pretty much everyone can agree that it's a good idea. Using a VPN when connected to unsecured internet connection takes the same kind of vigilance to get used to it.

This thing is that you can't see the dangers that may be waiting. I don't want this to turn into a scare tactic article, but it's true. Who can see a hacker? It's probably some grungy hipster looking guy sitting intensely at his computer, which is pretty much everyone at Starbucks. In a airport? He or she could be anyone, even in a different terminal. Do you share the wifi connection in a dorm? That's where hackers are born (think Mark Zuckerberg).

And it's super easy to do stuff like steal your Facebook password. That's just one step closer to more private information. We could be talking about personal emails, but that's just the risk of embarrassment. More importantly we're talking about email account passwords, credit card information, and other stuff related to money or security. If you're like most people, you probably have one master password that you use for all sites. Anyone wish a brain and a few free downloads could cause havoc very easily.

So how does a VPN for public wifi hotspots work? Well, it depends on what you're using to connect to the internet. If you're on an Android phone/tablet or an iPhone/iPad, it's simple. You can use something called PPTP or L2TP. The kind called L2TP is better for privacy because it has better encryption, but really, PPTP is good enough. The thing is that most places will charge the same amount of money, so why not get yourself a security upgrade and go with L2TP?

If you're on a Mac, Linux, or Windows laptop, you have a couple more choices. You can use PPTP or L2TP too, but OpenVPN is really the type of VPN that will provide you with the best encryption. 128 bit is standard, but some use 256 bit encryption for those looking for better privacy. Some services even offer NAT Firewall upgrades which improves your privacy and anti-hacker security even more. There's also a type of VPN called SSTP which is gaining popularity because it can be used with Vista and Win 7. I'm sure it will be compatible with Windows 8 as well. This uses the same type of encryption as OpenVPN, but is compatible with fewer operating systems (it's a Microsoft product).

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