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August 19, 2007

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Lois

Thanks for your v. useful comments and suggestions (and I respect your wish to remain anonymous). Although yours is the first case we've had reported of problems caused by allowing home exchange partners to use a computer, it's a salutary lesson which it's good to share with other home exchangers.

Everyone arranging a home swap will need to weigh up the pros and cons of allowing use of a computer/internet access but, especially if a home computer is used for business, it may well be a better option to allow internet access but only if your exchange partner brings their own laptop.

Home Base Holidays member who wants to remain anonymous

Hello Lois,

I just read your post re computer access for exchange families with interest. We noticed on our first exchange (2005) when we returned home there were several viruses on our computer. We had to take our computer to the computer shop (two days) to get the hard drive wiped clean. This was an inconvenience because we run a small business and being without the computer for two days was a problem. Also, the cost to get the computer cleaned was about $100.00. Our exchange family had put a password on their computer so it was off limits to us.

In July, when we did our second exchange to the UK, we simply put a password on the computer so that it would be off limits. We told our exchange family in advance that we were putting a pass word and asked them to do the same. We told them to call us if they had any questions as we have a very inexpensive long distance for calls to the UK. They were fine with this and we did speak on the phone several times over the two week period.

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