Urban Fraud Myths Campaign – Myth 5 – Public WiFi

18931_Myth_5__Public_Wifi_Samantha Hancock (Police, Crime Prevention Unit Manager, Nottinghamshire) writes:

Do you use Public free WiFi? Here are some things you should bear in mind

The Risks
The security risk associated with using public WiFi is that unauthorised people can intercept anything you are doing online. This could include capturing your passwords and reading private emails. This can happen if the connection between your device and the WiFi is not encrypted, or if someone creates a spoof hotspot which fools you into thinking that it is the legitimate one.

With an encrypted connection, you will be required to enter a ‘key’, which may look something like: 1A648C9FE2.

Alternatively, you may simply be prompted to log in to enable internet access. This will tell the operator that you are online in their café, hotel or pub. There is almost certainly no security through encryption.

Safe Public WiFi
• Unless you are using a secure web page, do not send or receive private information when using public WiFi.
• Wherever possible, use well-known, commercial hotspot providers such as BT OpenZone or T-Mobile.
• Businesspeople wishing to access their corporate network should use a secure, encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN).
• Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you use public WiFi.

Other Advice
• Don’t leave your computer, smartphone or tablet unattended.
• Be aware of who is around you and may be watching what you are doing online.

Source: Broxtowe Community email.

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