There’s an axiom in the cybersecurity world that there are three types of people: those who have been hacked, those who will be hacked, and those who are being hacked right now and just don’t know it yet.
When it comes to using free public Wi-Fi networks, people continue to choose convenience over the potential consequences of getting hacked.
The most common method of a public Wi-Fi hack is a simple technique called the “man in the middle,” where the web traffic is intercepted between the user’s device and the destination. The victim’s device thinks the hacker’s machine is the internet access point.
With dozens of online tutorials showing hackers how to compromise public Wi-Fi, mobile users should be very cautious, but that’s not the case.
In a study by privatewifi.com, nearly three-quarters of people admitted to connecting to their personal email while on public Wi-Fi at the typical spots: hotels, airports, and coffee shops.
Consider some of these security tips to keep hackers away from your sensitive information on unsecured Wi-Fi:
· Use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, to create a network-within-a-network, keeping everything you do encrypted
· Implement two-factor authentication when logging into sensitive sites, so even if malicious individuals have the passwords to your bank, social media, or email, they won’t be able to log in
· Turn off the automatic Wi-Fi connectivity feature on your phone, so it won’t automatically seek out hotspots
· Buy an unlimited data plan for your device and stop using public Wi-Fi altogether
Global security consultant Luke Bencie offers more tips to keep your personal information safe at HBR.org (subscription may be required).
Keep in mind the more chances you take on free Wi-Fi, the greater the likelihood you’ll suffer some type of security breach.
Chivaroli and Associates Insurance Services is a full-service brokerage firm specializing in the custom-design and placement of insurance and alternative risk funding solutions for your healthcare organization.