February 16, 2006

RESCUECOM issues national alert and important tips to protect Wi-Fi and "Hot Spot" users

Company Release

Charleston, SC, February 15, 2006 - Wireless "Hot Spots" are popping up faster than new selections at Starbucks. They can be a blessing for business travelers and computer users everywhere. However, if proper precautions are not taken, stealing information from your computer at a Hot Spot can be as easy as ordering a mocha latte for a "Hot Spot Hacker."

RESCUECOM, the national computer repair and technology services company, has issued a national warning for all "Hot Spot" users. Because RESCUECOM helps businesses set up safe Hot Spots and assists computer owners in keeping their computers - and identities - safe, the company has prepared the following Hot Spot Do's and Don'ts for all Wi-Fi users.


  • DO install a personal firewall on your computer. This crucial step will help protect your information and identity.
  • DO consider paying for Hot Spot access. Many sites charge one-time or ongoing fees for access, and thus are less likely hacker targets. If you choose a free access site, DO ask them about security issues before turning on your computer.
  • DO turn off "file sharing" on your computer.This will help seal your files from others on the network. This can be done in the "folder options" or "network connections" area of your computer's control panel.
  • DO ask your company if they have installed a Virtual Private Network. All communications across a VPN are encrypted, so your interaction with your company network will remain hidden, though other actions on your computer are not affected by VPN.
  • DO password-protect sensitive files. If there are a few sensitive files you know you'll be using in a Hot Spot, you will have to set them up for a password individually.


  • DON'T keep your wireless device on if you are not connected to the network. Turning off your computer or removing your wireless card when logged off will help protect your files from those who are on the wireless network.
  • DON'T perform any financial transactions in a Hot Spot. Unless you know the website has an SSL-encrypted connection, (look for the "lock icon" at the bottom right hand of the screen or the letter 's' after http) any financial transaction is a huge risk.
  • DON'T send private or sensitive information over a wireless connection. Imagine that everything you send over a network is printed on a postcard, for all the world to see.
  • DON'T assume a potential data or identity thief is visible. Just because you don't see another computer user in the coffee shop does not mean there isn't one in the above apartment or in a car outside the shop.
  • DON'T let your anti-virus software expire An unprotected computer will be infected with a virus or spyware within about 15 seconds of being on-line.
  • DON'T ignore your Windows update box. When the small box in the lower right hand corner of your computer tells you that updates are available, always take the opportunity to update your system and protect your identity.

"Identity thieves and those who commit these coffee shop crimes work harder and harder every day to prey on those who don't follow sound advice,'' said Norman Kistler, RESCUECOM franchise owner of Charleston. "This technology can be confusing to computer users and shop owners alike, creating an even greater opportunity for someone to steal your data and your identity. That's why it's crucial that all Wi-Fi users adhere to RESCUECOM's Wi-Fi Do's and Don'ts to ensure they are protected. Those who remain concerned should consider calling an expert, such as RESCUECOM, to assess and protect their computer."


RESCUECOM is a North American franchised computer repair and technology services company that provides on site, 24/7 service from coast to coast. All local RESCUECOM franchisees offer guaranteed results and on-site, emergency one-hour response service with or without a contract, providing the industry's fastest response and easiest relationship. RESCUECOM services everything from home computers to super computers, wireless Internet to global networks, hardware to software, e-mail to ERP. In addition to one-time, on-site solutions for virtually any computer problem, RESCUECOM provides comprehensive, ongoing IT management services for businesses.

Since 1997, RESCUECOM has been providing the "last mile of IT services" to consumers and small and medium businesses. RESCUECOM has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006 as part of the "Franchise 500," as one of the fastest growing franchise companies in the United States. For more information, please visit www.RESCUECOM.com or call 1-800-RESCUE7. -

Media Contact:
Nicole Anastasi
Environics Communications for RESCUECOM
Phone: (203) 325-8772
Email: nanastasi@environics-usa.com

Corridor Note: Charleston's wireless cloud is scheduled for deployment in March 2006. Charleston Regional Business Journal Post & Courier Swamp Fox News.