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Hotspots…Are They Really Safe?

Hotspots…Are They Really Safe?

Open and free Wireless access points are assumed to be trustworthy and many users connect to them because they’re free and the easiest method to connect to the internet or create a network to connect your devices together. On the other hand, employing a router or a complex network of routers and repeaters is the best way to achieve a wireless network which will give you total control of your network.

However, yet another method to achieve a secure personal network is through the creation of a hotspot. In this article we will be discussing the basics of hotspots and the security precautions and measures that you should undertake while creating and connecting to a hotspot network.

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What is a Hotspot?

A hotspot is a quick way to create fixed or portable internet access points using the Wi-Fi abilities in your routers, mobile phones or laptops. When a router is used to create a hotspot, it is a fixed kind of a hotspot but when a laptop or a mobile phone is used to create a hotspot, it is called a portable hotspot. A fixed setup has all the features you will ever need to create an easy to use and highly secure network.

While a portable hotspot serves as a quick way to connect multiple machines, it is not as secure as a regular router network. Also, the range of a potable hotspot is shorter than that of a regular Wi-Fi router. Nevertheless, the portability provided by these kinds of hotspots makes up for everything that they lack.

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How to set up a Hotspot?

Setting up a hotspot is easy and can be automated completely by using software. The routers usually come with a plug and play interface and can be set up within no time using the help of your ISP.

Portable ones are even easier. The smartphones of today already have the application to create a hotspot built right into them. For others, you might want to consider going through a guide or tutorial to establish the most secure network. To learn how to quickly set up a hotspot on a Windows machine, additional steps may be required.

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Connecting to a Hotspot?

Connecting to a hotspot is easy – you just need to select the name of the hotspot and press ‘connect’ on your machine. However, there are certain precautions that you must take before connecting to a hotspot network.

  1. Ensure that you are connecting to a private network only.
  2. In case it is a public network, avoid signing into your personal accounts or making money transactions. In case you have to do so, use a free VPN app or VPN Software.
  3. Ensure the network you are going to connect to is not a rouge connection. Imagine you are sitting in a coffee house which gives complimentary Wi-Fi to the customers and one of the hackers sitting there has their portable hotspots turned on with the same name and password as that of the coffee house. Now, if you connect to this fake Wi-Fi, you might end up losing all your privacy to the rouge network owner as he would be able to monitor all your data and steal everything he wants from you very easily.
  4. Follow basic Wi-Fi security measures to ensure you do not lose anything.

How to protect your own Hotspot?

Since we have the hotspot creation facility right on our phone, we do not shy away from creating a personal hotspot network and connecting our laptop to it while on the go. While this is interesting and beneficial, one thing that we do not consider is the security of our Wi-Fi network.

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In no case should you be losing your bandwidth to an unauthorized machine and hence you should block any unrecognized machine connected to your hotspot. The easiest way to do this is through a wifi security app. This app will give you all the information about your network and let you block the unauthorized machines even if you have zero technical knowledge.

Hotspots are an easy way to access the internet but if you do not pay enough attention, you could end up losing all your personal data. That is why, every time you connect to a network or create one make Wi-Fi security your priority.

Featured photo credit: https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSIppC21QLWZSI1vKBatG1OQUf8qvi3QDSi5UVdrMl7RkN0l4kolw via encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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