In our online and connected world, we can forget that others – unknown to us are also connected but in a nasty way. With laptops, smartphones, iPads and our IT paraphernalia – we’re now more at risk of online fraud and identity theft than ever.
A recent report found that the average out-of-pocket expense for identity theft victims has risen over 60%, from 2009 2010. Our “tech savvy” friends may be more at risk than they realise and business travelers often have the most to lose from ”rogue” attacks as airports and hotels can be points where we are vulnerable to rogue Wi-Fi hotspots.
Sipping your Late, idly surfing on your Android, you will be surprised at the number of WiFi network connections you will and anything free, even a free wireless internet connection is hard to resist. It’s surprisingly easy for an expert to provide a “Free Public WIFI” point. The Rogue WiFi networks lure people into using their service and then using the connection to hack into the unsuspecting users’ laptop or mobile device. You may think that there is nothing to steal in your computer or smartphone but you will be surprised at what hackers can do with your personal information. There are a few steps to take to protect yourself from a rogue hotspot.
– Check the SSID or Network ID of your connection. If for example you are at a coffee shop, ask the barista for the exact SSID and the password if it requires one.
– Steer Clear of unencrypted networks since they also mean unprotected. If you absolutely must use public WiFi, avoid any personal email or banking.
– Check your device WiFi settings, set your mobile device to ask your permission before connecting to any WiFi connection just to be on the safe side.
Take a few minutes to re-think your online use :
Coupon Spoofing : Do you like to use coupons to save on paying online – beaware that criminals can “spoof,” popular web sites like Groupon to install malicious software on your computer to steal financial credentials and take your money. When browing online – beware of clicking links that are offered by local websites and especially in emails – they may be page-spoofs for the unexpecting user.
Try to Say No to Public Wi-Fi : It’s like giving up your first coffee of the day, but try to avoid using public free Wi-Fi as much as possible. Especially at the airport or in the hotel. Criminals can set up fake public Wi-Fi access points that, once you connect, give them access to all of your information. Instead, “tether” your laptop or tablet to your smartphone’s 3G service. If you must use publicly-provided Wi-Fi, ask the hotel to confirm the exact name of the Wi-Fi network.
Bluetooth : Turn off Bluetooth when it’s not in use, hackers can use access personal information and install malicious software, also, Bluetooth headsets can be eavesdropped on.