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Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Cyber Security Tip

WI-FI is fabulously convenient and increasingly available when you are out and about.

However, WI-FI is a honeypot for crooks to trick you into attaching to 'safe sounding' sites lik 'Starbucks-Free WI-FI'

Once you attach to these WI-FI bait sites , you are a sitting duck for these crooks. They can break into your computer, steal data, and cause other havoc.

You can reduce your exposure somewhat by using VPN software (explanation below).  But you are still very much exposed.

If you think that this warning against using public WI-FI is a bit extreme, attend one the hacking demonstrations that we (and others) use to educate professionals like you.  When  see how easy it is for crooks to compromise your devices, your habits are likely to change. 

This is not just a problem for your IT department. You/yourself are on the front line of safe practices. In our security pratice, we find many professional who thought they were safe by using VPN (Virtual Private Network)  software.  Some protection, but less than you think. Your laptop and other devices are still exposed to hacking. To protect your data and indentity, we recommend the following good habits.

Good Habits

#1: More secure than VPN is to avoid  public Wi-FI by using the cellular network with your devices. This way, you are one of many using the cellular network, aka securitythrough obscurity.

#2 When you absolutely need to use WI-FI, use a complex password on your device. Hackers can still access your computer over WI-FI by reverse engineering the password. However,  it will take time.

#3 When you are not using your aircard, pwer it down. Related, turn off WI-FI on your device, except when you need it.

References  

Popular VPN software includes www.anonymizer.com, www.avast.com/en-us/secureline-vpn, www.privateinternetaccess.com and CISCO VPN for corporate networks.  For details on 'what is VPN' software, search 'virtual private network' on Wikipedia.