Protect Yourself

Wireless Woodstock offers free Wi-Fi to everyone. Whether you’re clicking to connect on our Wi-Fi or some other unsecured, public Wi-Fi network, here’s how to stay safe and secure while surfing a public “hotspot.”

Just because most wireless routers have a firewall to protect you from the internet (like we do), it doesn’t mean you’re protected from others connected to the same network. Lots of wireless hotspots these days are completely unencrypted to make it easier to connect. However, this leaves you unprotected against malicious users in the same area/park/coffee shop, so there are a few settings you should always make sure to tweak when you’re connected to a public network.

Here are the some key tips on how to protect yourself.
1. Turn Off Sharing
2. Enable Your Firewall
3. Use SSL Whenever Possible
4. Consider Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
5. Turn Off Your Wireless When You’re Not Using It

This isn’t all-encompassing by any means, but should give you a good quick checklist of things you should do every time you connect to a public network. For more information, including how to automatically change your settings to the appropriate level of security every time you connect to a public network, please visit this post from our friends at Lifehacker.

Wifi and your health

We are all exposed 24/7 to Radio Frequency (RF) waves. This includes TV, Radio, Cell Phones, Wireless Phones, and Wi-Fi.

According to the World Health Organization, RF (radio frequency) exposures from WiFi routers range from 0.002 percent to 2 percent of the levels of international exposure guidelines. The WHO says this is lower than RF exposures from radio or TVs, and adds that the body absorbs up to five times more signal from FM radio and television. The organization also notes that radio and TV broadcast stations have been in operation for more than 50 years without adverse health consequences. And the WHO dismissed another common concern—that RF rays can increase body temperature—by noting that temperature increases are so insignificant that they cannot affect human health.

Another study from National Institutes of Health noted “In all cases, the measured Wi-Fi signal levels were very far below international exposure limits (IEEE C95.1-2005 and ICNIRP) and in nearly all cases far below other RF signals in the same environments.”

Another study in the UK, specifically around exposure in schools, found that a year of WiFi exposure (in much closer proximity than our repeaters) is the equivalent of about 20 minutes on a cell phone.