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With modern devices such as tablets, cell phones and laptops, we can connect to existing W-LAN networks anywhere and anytime. W-LAN is, by the way, the wireless Internet as you might know it from home.
Especially abroad, it’s handy to be able to do some research on the Internet at an Internet cafe or at a public W-LAN spot. In many restaurants there are W-LAN spots where you can dial in with a code (usually available on request from the service staff). Most of the time, you can surf for free for about an hour with a code.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Surfing In The Internet Café
If you don’t have the possibility to access a free W-LAN hotspot, you can sit comfortably in an internet café. There you pay a certain amount per hour or half hour of internet use. On the side, you can have a cup of tea or a soft drink.
This is very convenient and sometimes not very expensive. However, you have to keep in mind that the PC will be used by many other people after your visit. Therefore, it is important to always log out of all accounts, not leave any email open, and not save any passwords.
Functions like “stay logged in” or “remember password” should not be used when surfing via Internet café. It is also advisable to delete all data in the browser history after your surfing session. This can usually be done in the browser settings. Many browser programs also have the function “private window” or “incognito”. If you use this mode, your data will not be saved. Also the browsing history remains secret and is not recorded. So no one can spy on you or use your passwords.
Please also remember not to leave any pictures or other private files on your PC. Most PCs in Internet cafés are set up so that you can’t do this anyway.
Surfing Via Hotspot
Free hotspots are a very cool thing. For example, when you’re out and about in the city, you can surf the Internet completely free of charge, even though you don’t have mobile Internet on your tablet or PC.
However, if you surf via a public hotspot, it’s possible that another person will access your device to find out passwords. This works because the person is registered in the same W-LAN network as you.
If the operator uses an encrypted connection, then such things are prevented. Therefore, you should always use the encrypted connection if you have the choice.
Otherwise, make sure that you don’t enter any data or passwords during your visit that could be used for research.
By the way, there are some programs that encrypt the data you send. This way, nothing of yours that should remain private gets to the hotspot. One of these programs is HotSpot Shield. You can download it here http://www.pcwelt.de/downloads/WLAN-Sicherheit-Hotspot-Shield-574459.html and install it on your PC.
By the way: Even W-LAN connections for which you have to pay something are not necessarily safe. The same dangers lurk here as in public W-LAN hotspots.
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the word W-LAN
2) Why is surfing in an Internet cafe not completely safe?
3) What should you be aware of when using a public W-LAN hotspot?