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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Public WIFI

 By Sean McAllister

If you are using public or unsecured wireless (WiFi) for your phone, tablet or  laptop, you are risking your private information on social network sites such as Facebook, because public WiFi isn't secure. Public WiFi in airports and other public places are ripe for exploitation by hackers.  Unfortunately, it is incredibly easy in a public place to steal your information.

One of the easiest ways to keep your computer safe is making sure you are on a safe network. Anyone can set up a WiFi network, if you are at a hotel, use the respective hotel's network, this (in most cases) will be a secure, password protected network set up by the proprietor.

An unsecured network is non-encrypted, and usually not password protected. This can allow the moderate hacker to access your computer and its data. To see if you are connected to a unsecure network go to your "Network Connections" window and it will indicate in the description whether it is encrypted or not.

A prospective hacker could set up an unsecured network and when you connect, start stealing information straight from your computer. This works much like a malicious website would by installing various malware onto your computer, such as "keyloggers" (a program that tracks your keystrokes, an easy way to figure out your passwords). 

The last thing to keep in mind while using the internet in a public place is wandering eyes. If you are sitting at your local coffee shop make sure that the guy behind you could be watching you enter your password. Be wary and NEVER leave your computer unattended.

Bottom line? I don't recommend ever doing your banking at an unsecure location!