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Wi-Fi article is timely, accurate

May 13, 2007

"Public Wi-Fi may turn your life into an open notebook" (April 22) was timely, informative and accurate, according to my experiences.

On a recent trip to New York, I made use of Wi-Fi access provided by the hotel to access the Internet, including reading e-mail. My transactions were "sniffed" and my Web e-mail address and password stolen.

The result was that my e-mail account was used to transmit hundreds of thousands of spam messages. We discovered this when we received more than 13,000 e-mail rejection messages from active spam blockers or bad e-mail addresses.

My Internet service provider shut the account for "abuse" and as part of its terms of reactivation warned me of its "three-strikes policy."

This could have been easily avoided had my provider used https protocol, but it doesn't, even though the protocol is highly recommended and almost foolproof.

This problem with public or unencrypted Wi-Fi is a very real risk and potentially more serious than usually understood.

ROGER E. COOK

Rolling Hills Estates

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