Something that users of free wireless services found in airports, restaurants, and cafes may not be aware of is that while they are busy chatting to friends via Facebook or sending email is that their internet usage can easily be tracked. Also, hackers can set up seemingly innocent free wi-fi hotspots and give them innocent sounding names such as "Free Airport Wi-fi" with the sole purpose of getting sensitive information.
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What's more, search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, collect and store i.p. address information with the purpose of targeting advertising. Sure, the thought of someone at Google having access to all the times you Google your own name may not creep you out, but a lot of people may get anxious with the thought that there exists a record of them cyber-stalking their favorite actress after they come home from a night out.
This can be avoided through the use of a Virtual Personal Network otherwise known as a VPN. Simply, a VPN is basically a virtual tunnel through your internet service provider that comes out in a different place. The data is encoded so there is no way that anyone can detect where the usage is coming from or even what it is.
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Also, a VPN can help with services like making cheap international calls with Skype that are blocked in the UAE. While Skype is no longer illegal in the UAE, the site is still blocked at the request of Etisalat, the main internet an telephone provider in the UAE.
Two good sites are proXPN and Witopia, but unfortunately, if you are in the UAE and don't already have a VPN, these sites may be blocked. If that is the case and you wish to look into what a VPN can do for you, the blue banner at the top of this page should get you there. In my opinion, better security for your computer and a more accessible internet is definitely worth checking out.