Wi-Fi in Brazil: Be a Ninja
2007 was the brazilian Christmas for laptops, definitely. Finally the prices are reasonable in retail stores, now one can buy a basic laptop for about R$1.600,00 (about US$950). That’s expensive for a 256MB / 512MB Celeron PC, but hey, that’s much better than feeding the parallel market of “contrabando”.
As a side effect, more Muni Wi-Fi and similar initiatives are emerging in the last few months. The last one came to my attention yesterday: Wi-Fi in Copacabana beach.
Burglars in Brazil are smart, so be a ninja with your laptop in Brazil. Let your Targus bag at home, it looks like “hey I have a laptop, please steal it from me Mr. Bag Guy”. Be a ninja with other gadgets like iPods, digital cameras and cell phones too. Nothing in your belt too, Mr. Batman.
Wi-Fi in malls is relatively safe, just take care when you’re leaving the place, looking back is always good. Airports are safer, but take care in your way to the hotel, when you’re waiting for a taxi. Recently a gang was arrested, they were specialized in laptops. You know, it’s easy to know you have a laptop because people help burglars a lot: suits and backpacks (specially Targus and other mainstream brands) don’t mix.
Another tip: the vast majority of hotspots in Brazil are associated to Vex, so purchasing some credits before you leave your country in a safe network would be interesting. Another tip, actually a homework before you leave your country: backup your data, protect your HD with a password if available, encrypt the file system, have your VPN set.