It’s tempting and convenient to use free Wi-Fi networks in public places like airports and coffee shops when you’re on the move, but did you know that such networks are prime targets for hackers looking to steal sensitive information from Wi-Fi users?  Apart from security concerns, maybe you’d just like to use your mobile device or laptop in an environment that’s more conducive to quiet concentration, but where?

On May 23, 2011 Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) rolled out “eduroam,” a secure Wi-Fi service, available at all RedRover locations on campus, and at participating institutions of higher learning around the world.  According to CIT Network and Communication Services, “eduroam is a secure, world-wide roaming access service for the research and education community.   It allows students, researchers, faculty and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity at their home institution, or when visiting other participating institutions.”   Eduroam is secure because it encrypts the Wi-Fi portions of data transmission; Cornell users log on using their Cornell net id and its associated password.  Tulane, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago are among the currently participating eduroam institutions.  Penn State, Yale, and UC Davis are beta-testing eduroam for eventual implementation.  Canadian universities using eduroam include McGill University and the University of Toronto.

To get started using eduroam, visit CIT’s “How to Set Up eduroam” page at: http://www.cit.cornell.edu/services/redrover/howto/eduroam/setup/index.cfm.  You’ll need to register your device and and install the SecureW2 software (Windows) or the configuration profile (Mac OS X and iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad).   There’s also a FAQ page at: http://www.cit.cornell.edu/services/redrover/faq.cfm#eduroam.  More information about eduroam, including information about participating member institutions, is available at: http://www.eduroam.org/.

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