How often do we see this on our Facebook feeds? How many of your friends (or you) have had your credit/debit cards compromised? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a post where someone mentioned their credit/debit card was used in East St Louis at a Walmart to buy a 65 inch TV. Or something similar. What I find funny, is that in spite of the title here you are reading this! YOU CLICKED THE LINK!
How many of you connect to public wifi “hotspots”? You stop in at Starbucks and hook right on up to that internet and start doing stuff and things. You may even make a purchase on your phone while connected to the public hotspot.
Or you log into your email and check that. Then all of a sudden your are getting tons of junk email or “Message Delivery Failed” messages.
So while you are sitting there drinking your latte, that guy over in the corner with his laptop open is “sniffing” the internet connection. He’s collecting data packets and after enough of them are collected, a pattern is formed and he has your passwords. Or in most cases with most people, your password. Singular. Because most of the computing public has one password they use for everything.
The software he uses is readily available for download most anywhere. It does take some amount of knowledge to use and is not just a click and run package. Generally. Some are that simple.
So how do you protect yourself?
I use a VPN on my phone, laptop and any other devices I use to connect to wifi. Including my home wifi. The one I prefer is called Private Internet Access. It’s inexpensive and mindlessly simply to use. Click the link or the image for a review. It’s on my Macbook Pro, my Windows PC and my Android phone.
If you engage in any of the following, you should certainly consider adding strong public wifi security encryption layers to protect your privacy and your data:
- Check your e-mail in a public wifi hotspot
- Log in to social networking websites in a public wifi hotspot
- Log in to bank accounts in a public wifi hotspot
- Share sensitive data online while in a public wifi hotspot
- Wish to secure your connection from prying eyes in a public wifi hotspot
- Use the internet at a library.
- Use the internet at a cafe, bookstore or hotel.
- Use the internet at an airport.