Missouri to receive $324,000 in Google settlement

Missouri will get over $300,000 in a Google settlement.

Attorney General Chris Koster joined a $7 million settlement with Google Tuesday.

The settlement concerns Google's collection of data with its Street View cars from unsecured wireless networks.

Missouri will receive approximately $324,000 in the settlement.

Between January 2008 and March 2010, the cars collected data from unsecured networks while taking pictures for the company's mapping service. Google discontinued the practice in March 2010.

As a result of the settlement, Google agreed to destroy all data collected from the unsecured networks. Missouri was part of the team that negotiated the settlement on behalf of 39 states.

â??I was concerned for the privacy of Missourians when we learned of Google Street Viewâ??s data collection,â?? Koster said. â??We were pleased that Google agreed in 2010 to stop collecting the data. Thanks to this settlement, all the data Google improperly collected will be destroyed, so Missourians will not have to worry that their private information could be used without their knowledge.â??

Koster recommended Missourians take the following steps to secure their wireless networks:

Change the router default password. Many wireless routers come with default passwords that others may know or be able to figure out easily. Change the password to your router to a unique combination of symbols, numbers and letters that only you know.

Activate the router firewall and turn on encryption. Check your routerâ??s instruction manual or website to learn how.

Only log in or send personal data to fully encrypted sites when using a public Wi-Fi Network. To determine if a website in encrypted, look for https:// at the beginning of a siteâ??s web address (the â??sâ?? stands for â??secureâ??) and a lock icon at the bottom or top of your browser window. Wi-Fi â??hot spotsâ?? in public spaces such as coffee shops, hotels, and airports are not secure, as most do not require a password. Even for those that do require a password, computers may be vulnerable to anyone else on the network.

If you are in a public Wi-Fi area but not using the Internet, disable your mobile deviceâ??s wireless connection.