Three Ways Hackers Use Wi-Fi to Access Your Mobile
July 4, 2016
Have you ever opened up your Wi-Fi settings and seen a bunch of unsecured networks? Gotten an invitation to connect to free public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, airport, or other public space? Just wanted to download something without overloading your wireless data plan?
If there’s one thing mobile users love as much as a power outlet for recharging on the go, it’s a free Wi-Fi hotspot! But free Wi-Fi can cost you if it’s used to steal your personal or financial information.
Cyber criminals know how attractive free Wi-Fi is to mobile users, so it’s often used to capture personal information. Here’s how:
1) Unsecured Private Wi-Fi
Is that unsecured, network you see in the neighbourhood just someone who isn’t very tech-savvy, or is it a trap?
It doesn’t matter how innocent the name of an unknown, unsecured, Wi-Fi network may seem. It could be set up by a cyber criminal just waiting to get access to your personal and financial data.
It’s better to avoid connecting to unknown networks - you never know who is on the other side.
2) “Evil Twin” Wi-Fi Networks
You’re at a new café. You see a Wi-Fi connection called, “newcafefree.” Naturally, you might assume it’s the café’s network.
Well, it may not be. Cyber criminals can lurk within range of popular gathering places and set up their own routers with the name of the place or business. These are known as “evil twin” networks, and they’re not always easy to spot. Also, they can be used to access what’s on your device or what you’re doing online.
When you’re about to connect to a public network, ask your host or the business’ staff for the proper Wi-Fi name, and the password.
3) Public Networks
Many communities and organizations offer Wi-Fi networks over a wide public area. Even if these are well-intended, they can be unsecure. If you have sensitive data on your device, or if you must do something online involving personal information (shopping, banking, social media), it’s better to use your wireless data (i.e. 4G, LTE) plan than an unsecure network.
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