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6. Safety precautions for free wi-fi – part 2

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6. Free wi-fi – part 2

From IT Safety column in Doitsu NewsDigest (translated to English)

Free Wi-Fi is one of the easiest heists for cybercriminals,  because there are cheap readily available software and small portable hardware you can buy which simply allow the user to see everything you’re doing on that shared network.

In part 1 we covered how the use of VPNs, Firewalls and security updates can be used to protect yourself from unwanted snoopers. In this article we discuss two other precautions for using free Wi-Fi

3. Beware of “Evil Twins”
A common trick that criminals use to steal data over Wi-Fi is a thing called the ‘Evil Twin’. The attacker mimics a legitimate Wi-Fi access point, like the free Wi-Fi network from a café, which then tricks unsuspecting users to join. Once connected, the evil twin creator can view everything you do on this network, including contents of confidential files you upload and download. They can take your passwords, credit card numbers, and even redirect you to malware and phishing sites. It’s extremely difficult for users to know if at network is an evil twin or not, but if you have a VPN set up, at least all your activity will be encrypted.

5. Switch off data sharing and Wi-Fi when not needed. Some airports and even retail stores also use Wi-Fi signals to track customers. Even when you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network your smartphone, tablet or laptop will continue to broadcast signals to the nearest Wi-Fi access points. This can be used to identify your device and determine your location. It also drains batteries, so make sure Wi-Fi is only switched on when really needed.

Link to original article in Japanese:
http://www.newsdigest.de/newsde/column/information-security/8589-free-wifi.html

June 2, 2017

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