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Safety Tips for WI-FI

If you have a laptop computer with wireless connectivity (or any other device), you can access the Internet using Wi-Fi, or wireless networks, often in public places such as coffee shops, airports, hotels, and other spaces.

Here are four quick tips to enjoy the convenience of public Wi-Fi and help to protect your privacy.

  • Use a firewall

You can configure a Firewall to provide better protection when you're using a public wireless network.  There are several Apps available for all your electronic devices.

  • Hide your files

When you use public Wi-Fi, network encryption is often out of your control.

Check the privacy statement on the network's website to learn about the type of encryption they use. (If they don't have a privacy statement, you'd be better off not using the network.)

If you keep personal or financial information on your device, consider investing in an app or program that includes the tools to protect your information through encryption.

  • Don't type in credit card numbers or passwords

These measures provide some protection against casual hackers and identity thieves who prey on wireless networks. But if criminals are determined enough, they will eventually find a way to get around any security system.

As recent history has shown, even the largest companies with many layers of encryption and protection are getting hacked.

If you want to be safe, avoid typing any sensitive information, such as your credit card number or any other financial information, while you use a public wireless network.

Tip If you must enter credit card numbers while using a public wireless network, make sure there is a locked padlock icon in the browser window, and make sure the web address begins with https: (the "s" stands for secure).

  • Turn off your wireless network when you're not using it

If you're not surfing the Internet or sending email, but still using your computer in an area where there is a public wireless network, disable your wireless connection.

If you're using an external Wi-Fi card you can remove it. If you're using an internal WiFi card, right-click the connection and click Disable.


Article by Microsoft



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10 Ways to Prevent Home Fires

  1. Kitchen Safety – Never leave a cooking pot or pan alone. Keep your cooking areas clean and not cluttered. Don’t cook when you’re sleepy or drowsy.
  2. Space Heaters - Keep all space heaters at least three (3) feet away from anything that can burn.
  3. Smoking – Never smoke in bed or when you’re sleepy. Use large ashtrays that won’t tip over. Soak butts and ashes before you dump them in a wastebasket.
  4. Matches and Lighters – Store matches and lighters locked up and high away from children.
  5. Electricity – Keep electrical cords out of walking areas and don’t risk breaking the wires by pinching them behind furniture or stretching them around corners.
  6. Candles – Keep candles away from anything that can burn. Put them out when you leave the room or go to sleep. Use a stable candle holder that cannot catch on fire.
  7. Appliances - Make sure protective water heater combustion chamber covers are in place. Pull the back service panel from the dryer cabinet and clean all the lint from the interior and around the drum. Clean built-up lint from the vent line. Replace vinyl vent lines with smooth-walled metal ducts. Mark a “combustible-free” zone 3 ft. away from your water heater with masking tape.
  8. Install Smoke Alarms – Put them on every floor of your home and near or inside all sleeping areas. Make sure everyone knows the sound of the alarm.
  9. Test the Alarm – Tests alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year, or sooner if the alarm ‘chirp’ tells you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more that 10 years old.
  10. Plan Your Escape – Make a home fire escape plan and hold fire drills at least twice a year. Make sure everyone in your house knows what to do in a fire emergency.

The three major causes of fires in the home are cooking, heating equipment and careless smoking. Each year home fires cause thousands of deaths and injuries, and millions of dollars in property loss. Most of these home fires can be prevented. It’s important to do everything you can to stop fires before they start.


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Basic Fire Escape Planning

Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

  • Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.  Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. This is a great way to get children involved in fire safety in a non-threatening way.
  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code® requires interconnected smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan. When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
  • Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
  • Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
  • Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
  • If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency.
  • If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
  • Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people's homes, ask about their escape plan. If they don't have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend "sleepovers" at friends' homes. See NFPA's "Sleepover fire safety for kids" fact sheet.
  • Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately. Residents of high-rise and apartment buildings may be safer "defending in place."
  • Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

Putting your plan to the test

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.


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