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Secure Wireless in Costa Rica (and Elsewhere)

December 2nd, 2009

crookI have wanted to cover this topic for some time as I get a lot of questions from people who use a wireless connection (inalámbrico(a)) to access the Internet. This post will be a bit long… be patient.  It will be worth it.

There was no wireless when I arrived here many years ago  and just a few hotspots (wireless locations) until maybe 2-3 years ago. Since then, wireless has “gone viral” and has become available in numerous locations, especially in the central valley around San Jose. Nearly every hotel offers wireless and/or direct connects in the rooms. Internet cafes offer wireless as do bagel shops and pizza parlors.  More and more people are getting familiar with wireless both for home and for “on-the-road” use and they ARE using it.  A lot!

Sadly, the vast majority of the people I deal with think wireless is is a reliable, convenient, safe and secure form of communications. Reliable and convenient? Maybe. Safe and secure? Absolutely 100% NOT.

This is one of the topics I cover in my REAL Costa Rica Tour, and it is so very important, I have decided to add it here. Also, I cannot cover it sufficiently during a tour, so this will be a reference for my tour clients.

If this topic is of interest to you, (and it should be!), read on.

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Banco Nacional Gets it Right!

October 23rd, 2009

Safe Illaveronternet banking in Costa Rica has been an issue for some time.  In December 2007, I wrote this post about how insecure it can be and giving suggestions on how to make it less so.   It is clear that  I have not been impressed with Costa Rica online banking at least from from a security standpoint… until now that is.

I personally bank at three Costa Rica banks: BAC San JoseScotia Bank and Banco Nacional.  All were subject to various schemes that could easily cause serious security problems, especially if the customer did not use adequate security protection in their computers or worse, used Internet cafes or a wireless connection while banking online.

Now along comes Banco Nacional with a high tech but easy-to-use gadget that all but guarantees your security even if banking from an Internet cafe or using a wireless connection. I got one about three weeks ago and have since been trying to figure out how someone could get into my account. My conclusion?  They cannot or if they can, they are a whole lot smarter than I am.

If this topic interests you, read on!

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Safe Internet Banking in Costa Rica

December 6th, 2007

Internet FraudLately, there have been a goodly number of news articles about people having their money stolen from their Costa Rica bank accounts.

As some of you know, several of my companies here in Costa Rica are “high tech” related, especially the web hosting business where we host thousands of customers world wide. Server and computer security are paramount issues as you might guess.

So when I got a phone call yesterday asking me my thoughts about this rash of Internet bank fraud and seeking advice, I decided rather than answer her question immediately, I would BLOG about it and maybe pass on some ideas for my readers. While this relates to the banking thing, it is really germane to ANY Internet transaction that uses passwords, bank information, credit cards or ANY confidential data.

This will not be a “techy” post. I’ll try to keep it very basic so non-techies can understand what they can do (MUST do) to avoid Internet fraud.

I am sorry, but this will be a long post, but I cannot recommend strongly enough that your read this.

If this topic interests you, read on!

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