Watch Your Wi-Fi

Have you ever used free Wi-Fi at an airport, hotel, or local coffee shop? In some cases, it may be better to stay away from free Wi-Fi and use your wireless network instead, because scammers can access your personal information and steal your identity with these three hacks:

The hacker positions himself between you and your Wi-Fi connection point. So instead of talking directly with the hotspot, you’re sending your information to the hacker, who then sends and receives data impersonating you. Every piece of information you’re sending out on the Internet are all under the control of the hacker.

A hacker sets up a Wi-Fi access point with the same name as a legitimate network you have connected to previously and compels your computer or phone to connect to it automatically without your consent.

Using a laptop, smartphone or tablet, “war drivers” use commonly available software to troll neighborhoods to find open or poorly protected Wi-Fi networks. Using these tactics, scammers can access your personal and financial information and use it to steal your assets and your identity.

Ways to Protect Yourself

To protect yourself, here are four things to NEVER do when using public Wi-Fi:

  1. Don’t fall for a fake: Con artists often set up unsecure networks with names similar to a legitimate coffee shop, hotel or other free Wi-Fi network.
  2. Mind your business: Don’t access your email, online bank or credit card accounts using public Wi-Fi.
  3. Watch your settings: Don’t let your mobile device automatically connect to nearby Wi-Fi.
  4. Stick to your cell: Don’t surf using an unknown public network if the website requires sensitive information – like online shopping. Your cell phone network is safer.

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