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March 09, 2020 | Posted in:

Stay Safe When Using Free Wi-Fi

Many businesses routinely advertise free Wi-Fi access. While this is certainly a convenient way to stay connected, it does come with major risks.

Why? Hackers can rig their PCs to allow you to browse the internet through their connections. It’s quite possible that instead of connecting to a legitimate hot spot, you may be connecting to a network created by a hacker who is hovering nearby on a laptop. The danger here: the hacker can track your activity, including stealing your usernames and passwords.

Smartphones also pose security risks, especially when used with free Wi-Fi networks in densely-populated places. Seemingly innocuous conversations, when shared over insecure networks, may allow clever hackers to steal your identity.

Steps to protect yourself from Wi-Fi fraud

When it comes to cybersecurity, you can never be too safe so follow these precautions:

  • Avoid connecting to a network identified as computer to computer.
  • Don’t access banking, credit card or other accounts that contain sensitive financial or personal information.
  • Do not share credit card or banking information over unsecured email, even if a hotel or merchant asks for it.
  • Encrypt files before transferring or emailing them.
  • Install anti-virus software on all mobile devices.
  • Use virtual private networks (VPNs), provided by your employer or a private company, that encrypt all information transfers.
  • Routinely update your operating system and make sure you have the most recent security downloads.
  • Turn on your smartphone’s encryption settings, if available.

 

 

This article was published in Alloy Silverstein’s Spring 2020 Newsletter. Click here for more content or to subscribe.

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