A New Workforce is Brewing: Page 2

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Prepare for theft or loss.

Identity theft and personal security expert, Robert Siciliano, CEO of Boston-based IDTheftSecurity.com, often sees people in cafés get up to purchase another coffee or use the restroom, and leave their laptop on the table.

"Anyone who hangs out in a café all day sees numerous opportunities to steal laptops," he said.

Safeguard your data by implementing a password-protected screen lock, and don't store sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers on the device. Also, be sure to keep data backed up on a PC or server in case your mobile device is gone forever.

Siciliano recommends that laptop users invest in services such as MyLaptopGPS.com. 

"This is a tracking software installed in your laptop that when stolen, will silently remove all data from your machine and let you know where the device is via your Internet-based GPS," he said. "Law enforcement can then retrieve your machine and arrest the thief."

Implement a form of end-to-end encryption.

Ensure that your e-mail login and e-mail transfer use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. If not, hackers can read your e-mails.

"Make sure you are using secure connections when connecting to your e-mail," said Dave Tremel, President of Cranberry Technology Solutions in Cranberry Township, PA. "If it's corporate e-mail, make sure you are using a VPN connection. If you are using Gmail, Yahoo! or any other Web-based e-mail, make sure you are using the secure login option. This is the default on most services, but not all."

Know where you are connecting.

A favorite way for hackers to access your laptop data is by setting up what is known as an "evil twin," according to Siciliano.

"This is a known hack where an identity thief sets up a wireless access point where you may connect to thereby filtering all your data through their network," said Siciliano. "They may even set up a network calling themselves T-Mobile. If you connect, look for SSL certificates (https) to distinguish the real from the fake." [For more on evil twins, read “When ‘Free Public Wi-Fi is Bad.’”]

Disable file-sharing.

Another way to protect your data is to disable all file and printing sharing options.

"If you do have to enable file and printer sharing make sure you have a password on your laptop when you log in and you have disabled the guest account," Tremel said. "You don't want someone coming along and downloading all of your files."

In addition to safeguarding your data, there are a few other basic tips for those who want to lead a bedouin lifestyle. If you want a faster connection, Tremel advises mobile workers to maximize their connection speed by sitting closer to access points.

"The farther you are away from the access point, the slower your connection is going to be," he said. "Depending on the size of the location there could be several access points. Your best bet is to sit in a central location because this will give you the best option of having a good signal which will provide the best transfer rate."

If you can’t acquire a good signal, Tremel recommends asking where the access point is or walking around with your laptop until you get a good signal.

When surfing the Internet, Taylor urges bedouins to respect the business whose space you are using.

"Don’t download illegal software or otherwise jeopardize the hospitality of the café you are at," Taylor said. 

Working nomadically can be draining at times, so social interaction is important.

"It can be slightly odd if the only person-to-person contact you have is with your bus driver or waiter or waitress," said Carey. "Arrange to meet friends or colleagues for lunch at least once or twice a week. Make an effort to meet people for occasional normal human interactions, and trust me, you'll feel energized afterwards."

Finally, Carey added that bedouins should choose different cafés to work from.

"Don't just pick your local Starbucks and go there all the time," he said. "Variety is the spice of life. Think of this as having a dozen different offices. Find cool bookshops or bars that have hotspots and hang out there from time to time. The change of scene might be an inspiration."

For more on how to use hotspots safely, read “Hotspot Safety for Business Users” and “The Wi-FiPlanet Guide to Hotspot Safety.”

Daniel Casciato is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to writing for Wi-FiPlanet, he writes legal, medical, real estate and technology-related articles for trade and consumer publications and recently launched his own copywriting business. For more information, visit www.danielcasciato.com

This article was first published on WiFiPlanet.com.

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