0

Key Wi-Fi Risks and Concerns

-

Don’t get the wrong, I love Wi-Fi, and especially free Wi-Fi, just like the next guy. And the Internet is filled with articles that talk about the advantages of having access to an Internet connection everywhere in the world.

Still there are very few – actually, I haven’t seen one until now – articles that discuss the risks and concerns related to the Wi-Fi technology, and especially free Wi-Fi. Here are the key things that you should be aware of.

1. Free Wi-Fi will destroy your privacy

The minute you connect to an open network, your data is jeopardized. All your precious files may be accessed by a villain attacker, who may run an exploit application from his own smartphone. Gone are the days when hackers had to work from their basements, using powerful computers!

internet-privacy

It’s surprising, but about 40% of US adults think that free Wi-Fi is quite safe, and 5% of them believe that free Wi-Fi is actually very safe to use. The appealing idea of accessing our favorite Internet websites without paying a dime overshadows rationality, it seems.

2. Wi-Fi may affect your health

These days younger and younger children have smartphones and tablets. Often times, it’s because their parents want them to live a better, happier life! Electromagnetic fields, also known as EMFs, are everywhere, though. Your microwave oven generates them, your cordless phone generates them, your Wi-Fi router generates them, and the list goes on.

electromagnetic-fields

Research shows that exposure to ultraviolet light, a high-frequency EMF, can cause cancer. X-rays, who are used for various medical procedures, aren’t much lighter on your health either. And since these EMFs cause trouble, people wonder whether Wi-Fi signal has similar negative effects or not.

People were really scared about what their mobile phones’ EMFs could do to them back in 2000. According to a Data Alliance source, a survey in the UK highlighted the fact that close to 30% of the respondents feared EMFs. These days that percentage is down to about 5%. The explanation is quite simple: smartphones and tablets have become a part of our lives. We simply cannot live without them!

Sir William Stewart, Chairman at The Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, stated that children should not use mobile phones, and that the providers should choose their antenna locations carefully.

3. Wi-Fi changes parental control rules

Speaking of children, by accessing free Wi-Fi networks they may also get access to inappropriate websites. Sure, you have done your job as a parent, installing a filter that blocks the bad sites, but all your work is in vain the minute they step out the door.

children-parental-control

Several Internet providers offer built-in parental control filters. You can also install a filtering system on your own network. But if your kids have a smartphone or tablet, the only solution is to install dedicated applications on these devices. Of course, even these solutions have their limits. They are unable to determine the type of conversation that your children may be having with their so called social media “friends”, who may be wolves in disguise, for example.

Sure, you could also install screen activity recorders, but these applications tend to slow down the phones a lot, burn their batteries within hours, and can be bypassed as well. The best solution is to teach your children to be responsible on the Internet, while making use of parental filters as well.

 

0

Three Exciting Technologies from the Future

-

I know lots of people who are whining about the way in which technology has altered our lives, but the reality is that technology has significantly improved our lives. If we leave longer, we are richer, and we are smarter, it all happens because technology is present everywhere. Here are some of the most exciting technologies that will impact our lives within the next few decades.

1. Self-driving cars

There have been some hiccups in the self driving cars world lately, but this doesn’t mean that the technology behind them isn’t making rapid advancements. Car makers are building intelligent models, and governments are working together to set up a tight set of rules that will govern the self driving vehicles.

self driving vehicles

It’s a new technology, of course, but even now, in its infancy, the accident rate is much smaller in comparison with what us, human drivers, are able to achieve. But if there’s something that worries me, it’s car hacking. I’m not talking about villains that will try to break into your car, but rather about people who are able to control your car remotely while you are sitting inside it.

Hackers manage to break into high-end vehicles within dozens of seconds. Others use signal amplifiers to boost the signal received from the car key, which is often times placed on a table, inside a house, but close enough to the target vehicle. The same problem plagues some of the best selling home automation systems. Fortunately, this means that researchers will join their forces and hopefully find a solution that will work fine for both industries.

2. Augmented reality

The Pokémon craze has hit children and adults alike. Everyone is running around chasing virtual creatures, burning some calories and having a lot of fun, apparently. There have been some serious incidents as well, for example a teenager that was shot for trespassing a private property, but this doesn’t mean that we should ignore the potential of this exciting technology.

augmented reality apps

These days even smartphones are powerful enough to run augmented reality applications. And big companies like Facebook and Microsoft are investing a lot of money into augmented reality.

Sure, you may think that this type of virtual-reality was created for gamers in the first place, but nothing could be further away from truth. Due to augmented reality, doctors are able to train themselves, learning to operate without jeopardizing the patients’ lives, for example.

3. Solar energy

We have waited for several decades to see it live, but it is finally happening: solar light is finally getting praised for what it actually is – free energy.

Due to technological advances, the price of the solar cells has decreased 2000 times in the last 40 years. Some car manufacturers like Toyota are now using solar roofs to speed up battery recharging time.

toyota prius solar roof

Newer technologies promise 400% efficiency increase rates, and this means that we are only a decade away from having cars that are able to recharge themselves, at least in sunnier countries.