I admit it… sometimes, well several times, I have chosen my place to get coffee based on their WiFi access. WiFi access is a luxury (necessity) many businesses have to offer to lure in their customers. The hackers love this access too.
It’s okay to surf the general information on a public WiFi, things you would let anyone see. It’s not okay and actually quite risky to access your personal data, private passwords and any financial information.
According to Digital Trends (digitaltrends.com) here are the top three things to watch out for on a public network…
- Man-in-the-middle-attacks: they basically jump in and take over and access information between your internet device and the end computer/server you are accessing
- Malware: This basically gives the user access to everything on your device including files, photos, camera and even your microphone to eavesdrop – WARNING!
- Sniffing: It monitors network data and can provide packet information. It’s something that is often legal so beware.
The best way to protect yourself is with a VPN (virtual private network) but that isn’t often realistic. Accessing your private data in public is essentially like changing your “panties/undies” in public. No one is going to do that even if the place is empty “just in case” someone might see. Accessing your very private financial or access information in public is the same thing. No one knows where the hidden cameras are or the hacking data breaches, so just wait till you get home and hopefully there’s no peeping Toms.
#publicwifi, #publicwifisecurity, #emergingmedia, #keylimebrands, #newmarketingtwist, #wvu619
Source: Hill, Simon (2015) How Dangerous is Public WiFi We ask An Expert retrieved 11/19/16 from http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/how-dangerous-is-public-wi-fi/
3 thoughts on “The convenience and risk of public WiFi”
VPNs are a great way to protect privacy and security but unfortunately realistically access to VPNs are mostly limited to organizational work by employees. However, there are some free VPN services available that come in two types – ad-supported or restricted bandwidth. Found this useful article on PC Mag http://www.pcmag.com/roundup/285788/the-best-free-vpn-services-of-2015.
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Great find. Yes, I had a VPN for my business and the only way to access the HP network was via a VPN and a access key. There will certainly be job growth in the IT security market for years to come.
Key Lime – good post
Always better safe than sorry and noting the 3 ways to breach or snoop are interesting. I tend to think why would anyone want my information, other than to see if they could see it, or do it? There are certainly better places to hack.
The damage control aspect of the credit card companies, and banks, backed up by by the secret service, and incurring a federal offensive is a great deterrent.? Keeping your OS updated, and personally monitoring your stuff can prevent or identify a problem early; paying the nominal fee for a Identify / fraud protection service is a nice option as well.
Of course a VP.N is a better option, but we love our conveienance, and the ease of use of a password free wifi spot.
It would be interesting to learn of the technology that is built in to deter any such hacking activity or at least observe, and monitor it within a free wifi hotspot. I think that would be interesting, like hacker detection software sitting on top of the the entire local wifi guest area.
In other words there has to be something out there that does the snoop dog, on the snoop doggers .
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