Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Tech expert reveals the dos and don’ts of using in-flight Wi-Fi | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


  • In-flight Wi-Fi can leave your devices open to hackers lurking in the shadows 
  • A tech expert shared tips such as using VPNs that will keep your device private
  •  Stay tech-savvy with expert Kim Komando’s free newsletter, over 500K people do. Sign up here

Score! Your flight has Wi-Fi. But before you start shopping or doing a quick check on your finances, you need to know hackers use sneaky tactics to hijack your privacy in-flight.

One thing in their favor: VPNs are more likely to drop in and out in the air than on the ground. 

Without that layer of protection, cybercriminals using the same airline Wi-Fi can easily tap into your devices, access your information and spread malware.

Bad, bad news. Let’s fix it with a few dos and don’ts to keep you safe.

Without that layer of protection, cybercriminals using the same airline Wi-Fi can easily tap into your devices, access your information and spread malware

Do verify you’re on the right network

Most of us see a network name that looks right and click it without much thought – and that’s what hackers are banking on.

Crooks can create fake Wi-Fi networks with almost identical names to the airline’s. If you’re not careful, you could plug into a copycat network instead of the legit one.

If multiple options look similar, ask a member of the airline staff which network is the right one. Hey, they may even give an in-air PSA if you spot a fake.

Do use a VPN

As said, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) isn’t quite as reliable in the air, but it still works when switched on. 

One thing in their favor: VPNs are more likely to drop in and out in the air than on the ground

Usually, what you do on the internet is open for anyone with the right know-how to peek in on. A VPN encrypts your data — acting as a shield from prying eyes.

It’s a must if you visit any site that contains financial or other identifying, important information. Do yourself a favor and be sure your VPN is active before you log in.

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Do stick to encrypted sites

This is a good rule of thumb all the time, but especially when you’re on an unfamiliar network. Only visit encrypted websites — the ones that start with ‘HTTPS.’

That ‘S’ is important; it stands for secure.

This generally blocks a hacker from viewing your activity on a given site, like the password or credit card number you typed in.

Don’t download any files

Let’s ignore speed and data caps and focus on security here. Data transfer is exposed with unsecured connections (like the one on your flight). 

A hacker doesn’t have to work very hard to intercept the download and read everything in it. 

Not a huge deal if it’s an audiobook. What about a bank statement or important work document?

It’s smart to download anything you’ll need ahead of time before you go to the airport, or hold off until you land and get to a trusted network.

Set your Gmail and Drive to offline mode 

Sometimes the connection is so bad you can’t even load your inbox. Lucky you, you can still get your replies all queued up if you plan ahead.

In Gmail on your desktop:

● Hit the settings cog > See all settings.

● Choose the Offline tab, then check the box next to Enable offline mail.

● From here, choose as how many days of messages you want to sync.

● Click Save changes.

Now, do the same for your most-used documents in Google Drive. You need to do this for each document, so be sure to take care of it ahead of time.

First, enable the setting:

● Open Google Drive.

● At the top right, click the settings cog > Settings.

● Turn on Offline.

Depending on your storage, recent files will be automatically saved offline. To manually select files:

● On the file you want to use, hit File > Make available offline.

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