Don’t be tempted to use “free public wi-fi” when you or your kids want to go online waiting for a flight or in other public places. I certainly have been. But when I’ve yielded to temptation once or twice, I’ve closed right out of it, put off by the strange new symbol that turned up – different from the usual connected parallel curved lines where my MacBook’s AirPort icon usually is. Turns out my instincts were good. To me, the symbol just looked like my computer was being spied on. NPR helpfully explains that, “when a user selects it, he or she isn’t connecting to a router or hot spot, but rather directly to someone else’s computer in the area.” It’s like logging into a botnet, or really an ad hoc network of nearby computers whose owners did succumb to temptation, but don’t worry: It won’t necessarily turn your computer into a zombie. “Connecting to the ad hoc network isn’t inherently harmful, despite its virus-like spread, [but it can] provide an access point for hackers to come in and check out the user’s files.” So don’t even go there. For more on zombies and family discussion about them, see the second half of this post.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
- We ‘like’ faces in social media: Study
- Yik Yak update: How the app came to geo-fence off US schools
- Smart safety: YouTube’s ‘neighborhood watch program’
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years
- Safety through mindfulness: Watch ‘The Science of Character’
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media