Open and unsecured Wi-Fi networks are the ultimate gift to hackers. It’s as easy as stealing candy from a baby, for them to get a hold of your passwords, credentials, and financial information. By connecting to public Wi-Fi, you are potentially allowing hackers to view all the activities taking place on your device.
This is a cause for concern year-round, but especially worrisome during the holidays when users are more likely to use the mall or coffee shop Wi-Fi to browse and make purchases online. The best way to protect yourself and your data is to avoid using these connections altogether, or at the very least avoid logging on to sites that require a password or putting in credit card information. You should also turn off your Bluetooth and file sharing in your device settings when you’re not using it.
So how exactly do hackers use these open Wi-Fi connections to steal your sensitive data? I’m glad you’ve asked. Two of the more popular methods are Man-In-The-Middle attacks, and Evil-Twin Attacks.
Man-In-The-Middle attacks work by allowing the hacker to place themselves between you and the intended Wi-Fi connection point. Instead of connecting directly to a Wi-Fi hotspot, any information you send out filters through the hacker, allowing them to impersonate you. This means your passwords, credit card information, and even login credentials for your secure business network are virtually in the hands of the hacker.
With this information, a hacker can easily transfer funds out of your personal or business accounts and into theirs. They can even bypass your business’ network security to steal confidential client information or financial details, or plant malware or spyware on your systems.
Evil Twin attacks are carried out by hackers that set up Wi-Fi access points that mimic known networks in the hopes of tricking your device into connecting automatically. If that happens, the hacker can then hijack your device. Once they have control of your device and credentials, they are free to do any of the same things a hacker behind a Man-In-The-Middle attack can do.
Unsecured networks are an open invitation to hackers, and not even password protection can be enough to stop them. Which is why it’s so important to never send out any financial information over a public network. You should never connect to free Wi-Fi automatically, and never shop online while using free Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi isn’t your only concern for risk. If your business does not have the right security measures in place to protect your own wireless connection and network, a hacker can easily use your own Wi-Fi against you.
If you suspect that your business Wi-Fi might not be secure, then give us a call at 905-763-7896 or email [email protected] to get the best IT Security solution for you.