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Old 02-17-2012
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Security while using WiFi while cruising

One of my friends recently got his gmail and facebook accounts hacked. The hacker changed his passwords and security questions, etc.. and now he can no longer access his accounts. For him this particularly hurts because he runs his small business through his gmail and facebook accounts. I mean to say that all of his contacts, documents, and calendar of job appointments are all gone to him.

He's utterly devastated, and gmail and facebook can't/won't confirm that he actually was the proper owner of the accounts and will not help him.

The most likely scenario that we've come up with is that his account information was sniffed when he (often) used open unsecured public wifi, like in a cafe or airport, etc.

Got me thinking about all the times that I've used unsecured open wifi in lord-knows-where on anchor. Got me to thinking about all of my cruising friends who run internet businesses and conduct their entire online lives via wifi.

So, I've enhanced the security settings on all my accounts, come up with very difficult new passwords and got some other strong security measures now, but I'm sure that there is more that could be done. I particularly like the new feature that you can enable on gmail and facebook that requires you to receive a txt message code on your phone to enable accessing your account from a new computer. I also use my work VPN whenever I have to access my bank accounts and credit cards, etc.

Anyone ever had their account information or identity stolen while cruising and using unknown wifi networks? What security measures do you all take to protect yourselves? What would you recommend to a friend who is just getting into cruising and is planning to run their lives from a computer while afloat? Maybe we can come up with a "best practices" for wifi use for cruisers or something.
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