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Public Wifi: What You Need to Know

Posted by Keith Shaffer on Jun 19, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Think using  public wifi is safe? Think again!

CBS recently did a study and found that most Americans who use public Wifi are blissfully unaware of the risks such actions involve. Kevin Clark, a County Prosecutor and expert in cybercrime recently explained the risk. "The chances of you being hacked far exceeds the chances of your home being burglarized. This is a big business."


There are a few good rules to follow when using Public Wifi. 

1.) Never make any financial transactions

2.) Don't enter any information you wouldn't feel comfortable giving to a stranger.

3.) Stay signed out of your email and social media accounts


To protect yourself when using public Wifi you should use a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt your traffic. (There are apps you can download that make this very easy!) In addition, any websites or apps that require login credentials should have strong and rotating passwords. Ideally, your password to one account would not match passwords to any other accounts.   

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Over 25% of WiFi networks in the world have virtually no encryption or password protection. This is extremely troublesome because any information transmitted through those WiFi networks can be seen by third parties. Third parties with ill intentions can use this data to steal passwords and commit identity theft to unassuming users. The damage that can be done to businesses is exponentially worse than individual consumers. If an employee of a business conducts work over unsecured WiFi networks, it leaves the business susceptible to infiltration by an external threat. It’s important to educate and implement safe cybersecurity protocols for your business to ensure third parties do not gain access into your business. Read Cybersecurity and WiFi: Risks, Cyberattacks and Safe Practices for more information.

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You may want to check out What You Need To Know About Cybersecurity.