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This chapter is from the book

Wi-Fi: A Convenience to Worry About

Advances in computer technology are great. Unfortunately, they also often bring with them opportunities for identity theft. Starbucks is a very successful company. One of the perks of being a Starbucks customer is that they provide wireless Internet access in their stores so people can sit back, drink some expensive coffee, and search the Internet. The way wireless Internet service, or Wi-Fi, works is by sending Web pages over radio waves to computers that have wireless capabilities. It is easy for technologically sophisticated identity thieves to hack into the computers of customers who are using their laptops at wireless access points, often referred to as Internet “hotspots.” Savvy hackers can join the network and access the information contained within the computers of users of the system. Wi-Fi is found more and more at malls, bookstores, and even McDonald’s restaurants. Securing your laptop computer from hackers while using Wi-Fi facilities is complex and particularly difficult for the relatively unsophisticated technology user who often is also unlikely to keep his or her computer security and virus protections up-to-date

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