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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.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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