How to lower your risk of being hacked on public Wi-Fi | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — “Free Wi-Fi” – two words most of us love to see. But public Wi-Fi also gives scammers another way to steal your passwords, credit card numbers and personal information.

Faith Bailey of Leola is just back from the USA Powerlifting High School Nationals in Louisiana, where she placed 10th in the nation. We caught up with Faith and some of her teammates at the Sioux Falls Airport. Like most of us, during her travels, she uses public Wi-Fi.

“I’ve never taken precautions with hooking on to Wi-Fi, it’s something I casually do I guess,” Faith Bailey said.

What Faith and the rest of us may not know is public wi-fi is prime hunting ground for hackers. There are so many public wi-fi scams on the internet they even have names. The Evil Twin or the Man in the Middle are two of them.

In the Evil Twin, say you are at the airport, a hacker sets up a fake Wi-Fi network and calls it airport. You look in your wi-fi list and click on it, you were looking for the real airport but you got the fake, and you got the hacker and now he has access to your information.”

With the Man in the Middle, the hacker secretly intercepts and possibly alters messages between two parties, to get information.

DSU’s Aaron Baker says there are certain things we all can do to protect ourselves. Getting a VPN service or virtual personal network is number one. It gives us an extra layer of encryption.

“Another thing is password managers just for everybody, in general, don’t store your passwords directly in the browser, use some form of pass world manager you just have to remember one master password to access them all,” said Baker.

He also says to assume you are being watched if you are using an open Wi-Fi network. So severely limit your use of passwords and personal information, and never do online banking or credit card transactions on public wi-fi.

“Just remember, especially if you are in public places, always make sure that the that the information you are accessing would be ok if somebody else did get the data,” said Baker. “So try to stay away from accessing your bank accounts or anything that would be super private”

For travelers, keep in mind hotel Wi-Fi networks are also easy pickings for determined hackers.


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National Cyber Security