The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi is one of my hot topics of conversation at the many networking events in and around Glasgow that I attend. I have to say, I am becoming a bit paranoid about it, however, I make no apology for bringing it up. Why, you may well ask?
Well, let’s cut right to the point. The main danger of public Wi-Fi is simple – your mobile phone is easy to hack! And, if you want to know just how easy it is to hack into your phone then I would recommend you read ‘Pineapple Club’ by John Stanley. Computer hackers, cyber criminals call them what you want but they regularly sit in public coffee shops with a small pineapple device. The pineapple will be connected to a laptop and will broadcast a free Wi-FI hotspot for anyone to use. Once you connect to this free Wi-Fi, the hacker will then have free access to your mobile phone.
Well, by connecting to that unsecure Wi-Fi you allow a hacker to access everything on your smartphone. They can read your emails, they can get access to your passwords, they can access your company data and more importantly they can start to build up a picture of what you do, and see all your social media activity.
This means, if they want to, the hacker can become you! Scary thought. What is even more scary, it is very difficult to know if your smartphone has become compromised – you have to remember that you are no longer carrying a phone, you are carrying a computer. Most people these days, have their phone linked in some way to their Laptop or PC/tablet. That in turn allows you to access work information and data. It has been reported that 70% of data breaches are from internal employees and you could be doing this without knowing.
Dangers of Public Wi-Fi
So how can I negate the risk and the dangers of public Wi-Fi ?
- If you out and about and you see a public Wi-Fi hotspot appear then do not click connect to it. If you are in Starbucks or Café Nero and see there public Wi-Fi and you login with your email and password this is fine.
- Ensure your updates for your mobile phone are turned on and set to automatic
- Install anti-virus on your phone
- Beware of any apps that you download and don’t let them have access to your email. If they ask, remove them.
- Be vigilant at all times, if you are unsure – don’t do it. If in doubt refer to your IT Department.
There are many examples where senior executives of a company have had their mobile phone compromised. The hackers have then started to spoof them and follow email trails to the point where they can become that person to fool finance departments. They are so convincing they have stolen thousands from companies who pay them, thinking they are genuine suppliers.
For more information then there is a really good blog at https://pixelprivacy.com/resources/public-wifi-dangers/
Don’t get caught out. For more information on Cyber Security………..
If you think you are in danger of being compromised or worried about your internal/external cyber security, then call in the experts. Unleashed can help you.