TODAY   |  April 14, 2013

How safe is logging onto hotspots?

Whether connecting to public Wi-Fi or a home internet connection, there are new ways to make sure you are keeping your information safe, wherever you go. TODAY’s digital lifestyle contributor Mario Armstrong is interviewed by TODAY’s Lester Holt.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

mario is here now with other ways to stay safer online. it's real eye-opening, first off.

>> yes, it is. and it's happening.

>> one of the things we use, we use a virtual private network , vpn . you can do those as just a regular person, right?

>> that's right. as a regular person, you do this a lot when you travel as well, even outside of your work. but there's an app now, several apps, one is called "my private wi-fi." one of the concerns i have, people are using their mobile devices to connect to the public hot spot, not just laptops. so this is an app you can run on your phone. and it will give you the vpn option within the settings, so you can make sure that that's encrypting your data.

>> quickly explain what a vpn .

>> it encrypts the data. it sets up a tunnel of information that no one can hack into. it scrambles all of the information. usernames, passwords, the transactions, all scrambled mumbo jumbo .

>> and private browsing. it's something on your browser, an information that it doesn't go out.

>> yeah, it's incognito. firefox has one. google. it doesn't make you anonymous on the web. make sure you understand. private browsing only makes it so that the web history is not saved on your computer. so a good example of this, let's say you're buying a gift for someone in the family, and that may use that same computer. you go to the website, purchase the gift. you don't want them coming to the computer and seeing where you've been. so you could actually erase your history, if you private browse.

>> will it save passwords and those sorts of things --

>> yes, things of that nature, right.

>> kids control. if you want to control what your kids can see or do on the internet. talk about what's available there.

>> yes, i think parents are -- they're a little shy of this. get in there, because kids are seeing inappropriate content. on all of the phones, go into the settings and look for the parental controls . iphone, they call this restrictions. you can enable these restrictions so that kids can't download inappropriate apps or inappropriate content or certain websites. so there's a lot of things you can control just through the settings on the phone itself.

>> really good information. mario, thanks for stopping by.