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Wi-Fi Laws
Author: Tim Taylor

Michigan man fined for using free Wi-Fi

A Michigan man has been fined $400 and must work 40 hours of community service for using a local café’s Wi-Fi connection from his parked car to check his e-mail and surf the Web.

He got off easy, according to the local TV station that reported the case: under Michigan computer access law, using a Wi-Fi connection without authorization is a felony, punishable by as much a $10,000 fine and five years in prison. But the story raises more questions than it answers, including whether the café’s Wi-Fi connection was a fee-based service, which would imply authorization was required, or a free service that, without any security restrictions, could be accessed by anyone within range, including someone outside the restaurant. Peterson routinely drove to Sparta’s Re-Union Street Caf, to check his e-mail but never went into the coffee shop. His regular routine drew the attention of Sparta Police Chief Andrew Milanowski, who asked Peterson what he was doing. Peterson told him. After checking the Michigan statutes, the chief swore out a complaint of fraudulent computer access.

Caller Comments

Security should be placed on Free Wi-Fi.

Encrypt it so that the customer has to get a password from the business. The password can be changed (daily, weekly etc…)

Restrict the signal. (However, there is no way to restrict the signal at this time)

The code could be on the receipt.

Email us your opinion on this topic.

Software Auto-Renewals
Author: Tim Taylor

Have you ever purchased a subscription or software online? Did you read over the agreement or skip over it?

Pay close attention to agreements.

Some software companies like anti-virus software companies (McAfee, Microsoft and Symantec) automatically re-charge your CC when it is time to renew your anti-virus. You need to really look at your agreement. It will automatically charge your credit card. You have to give them a 30 day notice to cancel. When you purchase the software it will ask you if you want to auto renew. Make sure you read the agreement!


Caller Tip #1: Use a Pre-Paid Visa. If you use a prepaid Visa you can just apply a certain amount and when it's used up they cannot auto-renew or recharge the Visa.

Tip #2: Change Credit Cards Often.

Tip #3:Do not use Debit Card. You don’t have the same protection. With most online purchases you only have 24 hours to dispute the charge.

Vista has sold 40 million copies!
Author: Tim Taylor

Vista has sold 40 million copies!

In 100 days they sold these copies. That was twice as fast as XP!

Positive notes about Vista:

a. Very good parental controls (previously you had to buy a 3rd party software for these controls). You can black list and white list certian web sites. You can have setting for certains time of the day, there are game ratings (M = mature, T = Teen, E = Every one). So if the parental controls are on and the user is trying to access a "M" game it will be denied, there are web site ratings, and other great parental tools to protect children.

b. Password reset disk – this is valuable! If you forget a password for a user. You can reset it by using a disk that you create when you set your passwords.

c. Windows Defender is built in. This is a anti virus program that scans your computer and tells you about bad programs when you start to download so you know not to download them.

d. Backup system is built in.

Caller: How long do you have to convert from Windows XP to Vista? They will support it for 5 years.

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