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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Facebook’s free wifi offer



By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Facebook is testing a free wifi option at select businesses in Northern California…but there’s a tradeoff for free access.

In order to access the Facebook Wifi option, you must log in on Facebook and check in at participating locations. What's in it for Facebook? You disclose your location and then Facebook’s network of advertisers can feed you targeted ads.

If you don’t want to reveal your location, you can set that to private…but you’ll still get targeted ads. If this test works, Facebook Wifi will become steadily more available in other areas across the country.

So what’s your privacy worth? Are you OK with revealing what you’re up to, what you’re doing, where you’re going to?

Free wifi is popping up in more and more places. It's a differentiator for businesses that can really help bring in the customers. I was even at a convenience store that had free wifi! Customers love it, but the criminals love it too, unfortunately.

New technology even allows amateurs to hack into password-protected accounts when you're on wifi. That makes it more important than ever that you surf with care at free wifi hotspots.