Archive | Home and Family RSS feed for this section

5 Ways to Stay Secure On Public Wifi Networks

March 10, 2015


Nearly every shop, fast food restaurant, cafe and public building has WiFi available for patrons. In a world that’s becoming more and more wired, it’s no wonder we can access the internet from almost anywhere. It’s a great convenience that does come with some risks, however.

Users of public networks need to be mindful of where they are logging on and what content they are looking at lest they invite predators to take advantage of their private information. Here we offer some information regarding the risks of accessing information through a public network and how to avoid them.

1. Avoid websites where you can access sensitive information.

Online predators can use open WiFi connections to access your mobile device or computer. It is, therefore, prudent to avoid checking things like your bank account, accessing sensitive emails, or other secure websites. Save those types of tasks for your private, home internet wifi

2. Check your device’s network settings.

You can change your network settings on your computer or device to block incoming connections. Computer savvy predators can use the open connection to gain direct access to your device.

3. Assume every public connection is compromised.

It’s safe to assume every connection has been infiltrated by someone with malicious intentions. So be conscious of what websites you are visiting. Taking general precautions can’t hurt. Stick to need-to-visit sites that do not contain any secure information.

4. Enable your firewall settings.

If you are using a laptop, check your firewall settings. This can help keep unwanted visitors from looking around your computer. The firewall should already be enabled, but if not, check before you log onto a public WiFi connection. On a Windows OS, you can find this under the Control Panel Menu. For Mac OS users, check System Preferences. Firewalls are basic with most OS’s, but you can update them in order to be more specific to your needs.

5. Turn off your WiFi when you’re not using it.

Instead of automatically connecting to public WiFi connections, keep your WiFi turned off. This is especially true if you are using your smartphone. For convenience, these mobile devices are made to connect to any and all public connections so that you always have internet access. There are times, however, that it’s better to use your data connection than a public connection.

WiFi connections are something we take for granted as an amenity that businesses offer their patrons. However, it’s important to see all possible risks. Convenience is one thing, but safety of private information is another. Be informed about which networks are safe and which aren’t.

Continue reading...

Android OS and its Many Uses – Some a Bit Odd

May 19, 2014


Google’s Android is one of the world’s most popular operating systems. It’s open-source platform allows programmers and other developers the creativity to make and sell all kinds of applications. For most of the world, their cell phones run off of Android OS.

Due to its open-source nature, companies can tailor it to fit their products. Android isn’t just for smartphones anymore. There are many products, some common, others quite unique that now utilize the Android OS. Below are some of the products using this technology.


Samsung’s T9000 refrigerator would be an interesting asset to any kitchen. The touch-screen interface allows users to browse android osrecipes, plan menus, and manage product expiration dates. Widgets can display weather, news, and offers Google Calendar integration. Since every member of the family walks past and opens the refrigerator daily, it’s an alternative way to remind everyone of tasks and events. Like any other tablet, apps can be downloaded to the fit the users interests.


Still in the works, Touch Revolution is working on a washer dryer with a built-in touch screen tablet. Those impatient for Android to washer integration can download Samsung’s Smart Washer app. It can be used with Samsung’s washer-dryers that are Wifi enabled. Users can use their phones to control their laundry cycles. LG also makes a similar app to be used with their products.

Car Entertainment Systems

VisualLogic makes a headrest system for cars. These 7 inch tablets can be placed on the headrest and are available with a DVD system. They also come with wireless headphones and remote controls. Keeping kids busy in the car has never been easier.


Touch Revolution makes a microwave with what functions like a built-in tablet. The microwave’s computer should be able to replace a home’s landline with its VOIP (voice over IP) abilities. Another company, SectorQube, out of India has introduced MAID (Microwave Integrated Android Device) for consumers. The product is especially marketed toward bachelors. The plan is to release an oven that knows how to cook every known dish. They have a catalog of recipes available at their website.

These products make surprising use of the Android OS. What’s more exciting are the products that it will help power in the future. Most of them will come in the form of the products we are accustomed to carrying and seeing: phones, tablets, and computers. These innovations, however, will fuel interest in developers taking this open-sourced OS to it limits by integrating it into something unexpected.

Got an Android app which doesn’t work – find out how to get a refund here.

Continue reading...