Public Wi-Fi hotspots – they’re convenient, readily available all over now and basically open to all. They’re everywhere – airports, hotels and in every Starbucks across the nation. And everyone uses them to read work emails, watch videos and update social media.
How identity thieves use fake public Wi-Fi to steal your information.
Well, anywhere you find a crowd, you’ll find a criminal. Criminals love public Wi-Fi spots too – so much so that they like to create their own hotspots to deceive you. One of their most common tricks is to use a generic name like “Hotel Wi-Fi”. So, you might think you’re logging onto the hotel’s Wi-Fi, but end up signing onto a hacker’s network instead. (You should verify the Wi-Fi network name with the hotel. Be sure it matches the name of the hotel Wi-Fi network.)
Accidentally logging into the criminal’s network obviously makes it easy for them to steal sensitive information like your logins and passwords.
How To Stay Safe On Public Wi-Fi:
- If you’re using a smartphone, use the cellular connection instead of Wi-Fi. That’s much harder for hackers to intercept.
- When banking, use your institution’s official app and sign up for any extra security that your bank offers.
- Checking social media? Use the network’s official app. This is more secure than accessing in through the website.
- If your laptop is set to sharing at work or at home, shut off sharing.
- Don’t automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks.
The basic rule of thumb is, if the site is asking for your personal log-in information, do not reveal this info and stay away from that site.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.