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    Hotel Wireless

    What's up with the inconsistent, poor signal, hard to login hotel wireless systems?? Seems that every time I stay in a different location the service provider (understandable) and log in methods vary widely. All too often I have to call the front desk and they transfer me to tech support for a 10 minute call. Why is that? These are for the most part, unprotected networks and I should be on in mere seconds, not 10 minutes. I wish they were protected, and that the front desk would give me the password upon check in. Most that I've seen are running the same Linksys router you probably have at home. Wide open. No encryption. Same as you?


    You are practicing safe computing, aren't you?

    I'm of the impression that, while most people are aware of viruses and malware, and may even have a program or two installed, they fail to scan regularly and keep the definitions up to date.

    With the many choices available it's easy to get confused. But don't! A few things to remember. While you can have multiple spyware/malware programs on your system, you can only have ONE anti virus program. They tend to conflict with each other and can wreak havoc! So remember, only ONE. And you don't have to use the one that came with your system anymore than you have to use the default browser.

    There are many good free options and pretty much all manufacturers have a free trial period for their pay products. I think the pay products are well worth the money in most cases and offer more features than the free versions. I've had good luck with the free AVG product available from but there are several choices. For pay products most people that I follow and trust recommend a product called NOD32 from ESET Smart Security 4 NOD32 | Firewall | Antispam. Also the 2009 version of Norton is far lighter and less obtrusive than the older, more bloated versions. And Microsoft just made available a free program, Windows Security Essentials, that should be on all Windows machines. Along with their Malicious Software Removal Tool you will have good basic protection on the cheap.

    Just remember to use the tools that you have available, keep them updated, and BE SAFE!




    Remember, an onsite backup is like no backup at all if you don't remove the media to a safe place daily. That means taking your backup drive home or rotating it with another drive so that you've always got a copy safe offsite. What good does that backup drive do sitting next to the computer if, God forbid, a disaster occurs. Or theft? They're both gone! Even better ( or in addition to) your own backup, consider an offsite service such as Mozy or Carbonite. These services backup your designated folders in the background without you having to even think about it! Talk about security! Most are very cost effective. And what price do you place on peace of mind?


    My Mantra: Backup, backup, backup !!!

    I know it's like beating a dead horse but our lives would be so much easier if we would just back up our work regularly. And with today's low cost of storage I think an external hard drive is the best way. Of course, if you only have a small documents folder and some addresses and bookmarks you could easily use a flash drive, CD or DVD, right click on the folder and select the appropriate drive as the destination. Done! If you're like an ever growing number of people however, you have several gigabytes of music and pictures to save, maybe even some video. In that case an external USB hard drive is economical, quick and easy.

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