How to use free Wi-Fi for shopping, banking and safe browsing?

Isn’t it extremely convenient to update status, shop, post photos and bank online? You do not have to physically go to the store, the bank or even travel a certain distance to catch up with friends and family.

The only drawback of doing things online is that your information is travelling, via the Internet. If you thought that the information is only between you and the website that you are using, you are wrong. The data collected from you is actually bouncing through servers around the country or maybe around the world giving hackers the chance to steal your information. If they happen to get your data in transit, they might be able to gain knowledge about you that they should not know, your password or may even pretend to be you in order to trick your bank or such other security sites.

Hacking becomes especially easy when you are using public Wi-Fi. Hackers using the same network have a number of tools to know what you are doing. Not just hackers, even your internet service provider and government can also monitor your connection to find out where you are going and if they want, what you are doing.

Safety Tips for Women Going Out With FriendsThe measures of Internet security in place

Any shopping, finance or medical website that is even a little concerned about security is going to provide with a connection that is encrypted. The encryption helps to scramble your traffic so that hackers are not able to get a hold of your passwords or any other information.

How will you understand if a website is encrypted? If the web address in your browser starts with https://, it is an encrypted site.

Websites like, Google, Facebook and other such major sites have also adopted always-on encryption. However, every website is not going to provide you with any encryption or they might only provide you with partial encryption.

Partial encryption means that the site may not be encrypted until you log in or they only encrypt your login details and leave details, such as email messages exposed for hackers to snoop.

Lucky for you, a lot of sites are now moving towards full-time encryption.

However, you do not have to wait for sites to provide you with a level of security. You can encrypt your connection yourself. How? Read on…

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

You can use VPN to encrypt your connection. In the world of business, VPNs allows employees who work remotely create a connection with the network of the company so that they are able to safely work.

Macs and Windows have in-built VPN features. However, a thirty-party VPN service is best for travelers and average home-users. With this service, you will be able to create an encrypted connection with one the servers and you can use that server to browse the web. Even VPN will not be able to see your traffic.

To start with, you have to ensure that the VPN service has US-based servers. Also know the bandwidth that you can use and find out if they keep logs of your activity. Paid services are going to need you to provide personal, as well as, payment information.
cellphoneFor Android gadgets, PCs and Macs, CyberGhost is a preferred free option that offers unlimited bandwidth, strong encryption and does not store logs. If you want to go for a paid plan, there is an Apple app.
For Android and Apple gadgets, Hotspot Shield VPN with more than three hundred million downloads is a popular free application.

How to use VPN?

After installing VPN, fire it up and allow it to establish a safe connection. You can then continue browsing the Internet normally. The traffic is going to flow to your tablet, computer or any other device, via a VPN server and encrypted connection.
The encrypted websites is going to be safe from hackers and other prying eyes.

Please note that when you are searching for VPNs, you will come across two terms – proxy services and VPN services. Always choose VPN services because a proxy service will not encrypt the connection, only disguise the identity of your computer.
When you are using public Wi-Fi, it is strongly recommended that you use a VPN for your security. However, it is highly recommended that you save all your online banking activities for your cellular connection or home.

Have you used VPN services before? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

What are the Legal Rights Associated with Alternative Credit Scores?

In recent years there has been an ever-growing portion of the population from all over the United States who are starting to recognize how valuable alternative credit scores can be. This is especially true for those who have had past financial difficulties and have had no luck in maintaining good traditional credit scores. What people may not be aware of just yet, though, is what their rights really are with regards to using alternative credit scores. As luck would have it, however, just knowing a bit about how these credit scores work goes a long way toward helping people to get access to these credit scores and to ultimately improve their overall financial situations.credit_score

One of the most popular alternative credit scores is PRBC. It is important for consumers to know that over 9,000 companies around the United States accept these scores. The companies that accept PRBC range from mom-and-pop stores to big chains that have stores all over the country. It is a good thing, then, that this number includes companies that are, as of today, ready to accept these alternative credit scores. However, consumers who are looking to make credit-related choices in the near future, and who present those businesses with their PBRC scores, need to know that the score must be accepted according to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

What is involved in Alternative Credit Scores?

What are the legal rights associated with alternative credit scores really all about? Well, when it comes to PRBC scores, even though thousands of businesses do use them, the consumer will usually have to do the hard work of seeking these businesses out on their own. This means that if you plan on renting an apartment or turning on utilities in the near future, you will have to ask landlords, property management companies and utility providers (along with cell phone providers, cable companies, etc…) to report their standings when bills are paid. After the PRBC gets this data, it very well could help to improve the financial standing of the person making payments, because it could help to improve their alternative credit rating. As a matter of fact, the more of these types of accounts and payments a consumer can get attached to their PRBC account, the faster their credit scores will grow. And to get these benefits a consumer usually just has to contact any businesses they make payments to and ask that they get added to the list.

As of now, companies that are making credit decisions won’t just have access to potentially damaged/low traditional credit scores, but also a whole host of other information that shows how well people do when it comes to meeting their monthly payment obligations. This is all thanks to the implementation of alternative credit scores. People must keep in mind, however, that how different companies interpret this data is likely to vary. Again, though, under the federal law, companies cannot refuse to at least consider the information. People who have a good track record of making payments on time will be more likely to not only get new lines of credit, but to do so in a way that is as affordable as possible too.

If you have had previous credit problems, consider looking further into alternative credit scores. You may find that this method of credit scoring may help you to improve your financial situation faster than simply waiting on your traditional credit score to improve over time.

Understanding the Risks of Letting Someone Use Your Credit Card

It is great to have family members and friends that you love. And most of us like to do favors for those folks when we can help them out. Sometimes, though, relatives or friends may ask a bit more of you than you are comfortable with. For example, what if a loved one asks you if they can “borrow” your credit card? They offer to make payments on them and then you can take the credit card back. In other words, they want to use a line of credit – one in your name – as short-term personal loan. Is it a good idea to come through with this kind of financial assistance for family or friends?bad_credit_card_management

No. Essentially, this person would be asking you to add them as an authorized user on a new line of credit or an existing credit card account. Even if you implicitly trust this person to make payments, it is a dangerous game to open a line of credit and to essentially give someone free reign to do what they want with it. You have to ask yourself why this person does not have their own credit card to use, and what you would do if the worst case happened and they were unable to make payments on the account.

Loved Ones with Bad Credit

Chances are that if someone is asking you to add them as an authorized user on your credit card account that they do not have a good credit score. If they did, they would have no problem opening a new account on their own. Now, what does the bad credit score say about this person? It does not imply that they are irresponsible or that they spend like crazy. It does, however, indicate that they have had problems in the past with lines of credit, and those problems may still be something that your loved one has not sorted out yet.

What if they do not pay?

This is where you could really get into trouble. You have someone who is charging things on the account and they are unable to make the payments. If you are flush with cash at the end of every month and have no problems making the payments for them, then this situation could be okay. However, most of us don’t have unlimited supplies of cash just sitting around and ready to use to help bail someone out of a financial mess.

And that is just what you would end up with if you let someone make purchases on one of your credit card accounts – a big financial mess. Worse than that, you’d also end up with a strained relationship with the person as well. Money can buy a lot of things in this world, but it cannot patch up a strained family relationship or a ruined friendship. If it came down to it, and you didn’t have the money to make payments for an authorized user on your account, you would be the one holding the bag. Your own credit score would take a hit. This would likely drive a wedge between you and your friend/family member. That’s something that you simply don’t want to deal with at any point in time.

Keep this advice in mind, and be prepared to let down these types of requests gently. Explain that you don’t have the resources to pay for another line of credit each month and that you don’t want to add any authorized users to your lines of credit. It may be awkward, but it is better than dealing with a low credit score and a damaged relationship with someone you care about.

Going Out Safety Tips for Young Women

Most young women like to go out and have a good time. Every young women needs to keep safety in mind when she goes out though, as much as a pain as it might seem. Keeping safety in mind could prevent you from becoming a victim of a crime. Here are some tips that any young woman can follow when she wants to go out for a night on the town.

When you are thinking of going out, whether it is to the bar, a party, or anywhere you should see if you can get a group of friends to go with you. This way you can all look out for each other. Most criminals are not going to want to attack someone who is in a group, so if you go with a group of your closest gal pals then you will be that much safer.


If you are going to go out to a bar never leave your drink unattended. If you and your friend both need to go to the bathroom you need to either take turns or wait until you finish your drinks. If you take turns then you can go while your friend watches your drinks and then you can watch your drinks while your friend uses the bathroom. If you do forget and accidentally leave your drink unattended even for just a small amount of time, get a new drink, do not drink it. It only takes a very small amount of time for someone to slip something into your drink, do not risk it, just get a new drink.

All young women no matter where you are and what you are doing need to make sure that you are paying attention to your surroundings. Make mental notes of where things are and who is around, you never know when you will need this information. Paying attention to your surroundings can also help you notice when something does not seem quite right so you can get out of a situation before it escalates to something bad.

If you are meeting someone for a first date and you have either never met this person before or you have no friends in common therefore do not know anything about them, meet them in a public place. When you go out on a first date with someone who is friends with one of your friends you can get some information from your friend about who they are. If you do not have that option, you know nothing, including whether or not this is a good person. You do not want to risk getting attacked, meet at a public place so that if you are uncomfortable there are plenty of people around, and you can leave by yourself whenever you want.

Being a young woman can be an exciting time, as long as you keep safety in mind. If you do not keep safety in your mind you could wind up regretting it later on. Do not wait and be sorry, just be safe. You would not want your friends and family members putting themselves in unnecessary risk and having something happen to them, and they feel the same about you. Keep safety in the front of your mind and you will be better off than if you go around not worrying about anything.

Safety Tips for Women

There was once a time where you did not have to worry much self-defense and women’s safety. Those days are long gone. These days women need to make sure they are able to take care of themselves if necessary. Women today are more independent than ever and are being targeted by those who want to do them harm. Women need to know how to make sure they are looking out for their safety.

If you do not know any self-defense it is a great idea to sign up for a class. It will help you understand the basics of how to defend yourself should you ever need to. Every woman thinks that it will never happen to them but the truth is that you never know if the next victim of women’s violence will be you or not. This is a great reason to make sure that you are prepared in the event that a criminal chooses you to attack.

You should always be aware of your surroundings. Always take mental notes of who is around where they are, where vehicles are, and so on. A lot of women who fall victim to violence do not make sure there are aware of their surroundings before they were attacked. This is something that you must make a habit of doing.

Stop sign

Stop sign (Photo credits:

A woman’s intuition is usually spot on. Listen to your intuition. If it tells you that something in a particular situation is wrong, then listen to it! Ignoring your intuition could wind up making you a criminal’s next victim. If a situation feels like something is wrong, get out of that situation as soon as possible and if needed find someone to help you.

There are sporting goods stores that sell pepper spray, or you can find some online. It is a good idea to get some to carry around with you. Pepper spray can give you the opportunity to get away from an attacker when you would not be able if you did not have that pepper spray. It is a good idea to practice getting the pepper spray out of your purse and getting ready to use it. Should a time come that you need to use it you do not want to get caught fumbling around with it.

When you get into your car, no matter where it is, at home, at the shopping mall, wherever, lock your doors right away. This will make you safer by making sure that no one can hop in your car while you are at a stop light or a stop sign. It will also help you not be a victim of a carjacking. This happens more than people realize, and simply locking your car doors as soon as you get in can help keep you from becoming a victim of it.

Women today have to make sure they do what they can to be safe. Unfortunately not very many women have safety at the front of their mind, but they should. You probably have heard the saying better safe than sorry, make it your mantra, say it to yourself every day, and live it!