Walt Mossberg

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Delete a Facebook Account

Q:

How do I permanently delete a Facebook account?

A:

Facebook doesn’t make it quick or easy. The default choice is to “deactivate” your account, which allows you to change your mind and reactivate, and thus spare the company the loss of a member. Deactivated accounts can’t be seen by others, but all their data remain on Facebook’s servers. You can totally and permanently delete an account, but this isn’t a simple process. You have to submit a request, at http://on.fb.me/n5OemK, or go to the Facebook help center and search for “delete account.” Then you have to wait awhile, while Facebook hopes you change your mind. More information on both options is at: http://on.fb.me/pxjtS2.

Q:

I am generally very pleased with the MacBook Air that I recently purchased. However, when I am on the road, I find that my Air loses connectivity to the wireless network that I am using. Any thoughts or suggestions? This is frustrating.

A:

I have noticed something similar lately, on my own MacBook Air that’s been upgraded to the new Lion operating system. It doesn’t randomly drop Wi-Fi connections, but it does take too long to reestablish them when waking from sleep. In my case, this is a new and recent behavior. I asked Apple about your question and my experience, and the company conceded that it has received reports of problems with Lion-equipped Macs “sporadically” dropping Wi-Fi connections and is developing what it hopes is a fix. That fix, it says, will be part of a software update to be made available soon.

MOSSMAIL

A fix is coming for MacBook Air machines with Wi-Fi problems.

Q:

I want a tablet for occasional road trips. If I get a Wi-Fi-only model do I need to worry about my passwords being stolen if I use an open network? Is it better, if cumbersome, to use my Droid X smartphone to set up a password-protected Wi-Fi hot spot and connect through it?

A:

I have long advised avoiding shared, open, public Wi-Fi networks when dealing with sensitive data. I am not a security expert, and I am sure there are ways for determined hackers to penetrate your Droid, or any smartphone. But I agree that your odds are much better with a password-protected network that you control, that only you use, and that relies on a cellular network proprietary to a wireless carrier. Just remember that your security is never guaranteed on the Internet, especially in public places.

Email Walt Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com.


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