Public Wi-Fi Users Neglect Security Precautions

Public Wi-Fi Users Neglect Security Precautions

Some public Wi-Fi hotspots are provided by con artists

According to a report, some public Wi-Fi hotspots are provided by con artists, thus putting users at risk; especially users that work with sensitive information over hotspots.

A report from the AARP Fraud Watch Network says that a quarter of adults who use the internet access it via public Wi-Fi at least once a week. 27 percent say they’ve banked online via public Wi-Fi in the last three months, and a similar number had purchased a product or service with a credit card this way.

"We're concerned that people are trading security for convenience," said Doug Shadel with the AARP Fraud Watch Network. "People are doing things on free Wi-Fi that are really alarming."

Hackers have two different ways of attacking via public hotspots: by creating names that are nearly identical to trusted Wi-Fi names, and providing a stronger Wi-Fi connection thus luring users and their information to that connection. Hackers can see every unencrypted communication that happens while connected.

About the Author

Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.

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