Google have been found out extracting data from unprotected WiFi with their Street View Cars.
Take a read of the BBC report than ask yourself 'How safe is my computer set up?'.
Quite clearly Google have broken many privacy and data protection laws, either as they claim by mistake or by intention for their own use or on the behave of another organisation.
Will anything be done about it? I doubt it.
Listen carefully to Peter Barron of Google's answer, "We won't be collecting WiFi data using the Street View Cars in the future", I always love the way people quantify what they say and I have learnt to 'read between the lines' what he is saying is, we won't use the Street View Cars but we may use any other means we can to do this in the future if we wish.
One question is though could we be making it easy for this data to be collected?
As I ride home on the train everyday using my iPhone it always asks if I wish to connect to any WiFi points we pass along the way. Now most are password protected but some are not.
WiFi at home has become a convenient, wireless way to connect our digital home systems. I have a home WiFi system which links a number of home appliances and computers to each other and to the Net. They all require a WPA2 password and a good long mix of letters, numbers and punctuation the password is.
So if you have a home WiFi system please check and make sure you have a at least a WPA2 Personal password set up to stop anyone from just logging in to your network.
On the Mac it is easy to set up using AirPort Utility. In fact I would recommend both Mac and Windows users to use an Apple AirPort WiFi or Time Capsule if you want the added benefit of a USB Hard drive.
Personally if you have a Mac I would not use the BT Hub as your WiFi as this is well know to have problems with iChat and other VoIP software, seems BT don't like you getting free Net phone calls.
If you have Windows it is very important that you take security very seriously, because if your computer is compromised it is easy for that to spread to other Windows machines. Or for your computer to become part of a BotNet that can and will be used for DoS attacks on web sites like the attacks on the BNP site.
Recently there have been a number of governments giving advice to Windows users not to use Internet Explorer because of the very high risk of a security breech, please heed these warnings, do not use Internet Explorer for your own security and for the security of all other Net users. Also a well known hacker stated at a security convention a few months ago that, it doesn't matter what browser you are using, Flash is the easiest way on to your computer; so personally I will be glad when we all stop using it and move to much better systems of presenting video and animation on the Net. Please help in making the Net a safer place by moving with the times and allowing websites to change away from Flash, don't keep holding us back and we will give you a safer Net.
For how to set up a password protected WiFi on Windows please search the Net for it as there are 3 version of Windows, XP, Vista and 7 which could all be different and while your there notice how many links there are to site about how to break in to WiFi on Windows.
Take care out there, the Net can be a mean place for a computer with in built security that is full of holes.
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 August 2010 02:22 )