It is becoming increasingly easy to surf the internet in public places. More and more cafés, shops, hotels and stations are offering free wifi services for you and your staff to use. This is not a risk-free process, however: public wifi networks are often not encrypted as most providers are reluctant to undertake the cumbersome, time-consuming conversion procedure involved. Consequently, public networks are generally not secure, so it is very easy for hackers to steal confidential information from your staff and, accordingly, from your company.
Alert your staff to public wifi risks
A bogus wifi network can be set up quickly without needing a lot of specialised technical expertise. So cybercriminals can easily steal information from people who connect to these types of networks.
This mainly involves phishing: when hackers prey upon victims by masquerading as trusted third parties to obtain sensitive information from electronic communications. In such situations, your employees, for example, may think they are accessing a hotel or café network, when in fact the bogus one they have been tricked into using is obtaining personal information, such as passwords without their knowledge.
Surfing on a free wifi network with a password
Some establishments do protect their networks with passwords. So is this safe?
Everyone uses the same code to access the service, so it is still easy for hackers to steal confidential information in this case too. Anything you send or receive is first of all directed through the hacker, who can therefore gain access to any passwords you enter. So it is important to exercise caution in this case too.
5 tips for anyone connecting via a public wifi network:
1. Never leave your device unattended in a public place and ensure it is always password-protected.
2. Ask which wifi network is being offered and find out its exact name.
3. Ensure your software is always up to date. Updates are intended to adjust operating systems on a constant basis in order to address new vulnerabilities or threats.
4. Protect your device with the right programs: anti-virus software for your computer or a mobile security app for your smartphone. These types of programs protect against viruses and spyware. They often provide a firewall as well to protect you against hackers and network attacks.
5. Do not log on to business applications containing sensitive or confidential information, without being sure you are using a safe wifi network.
Do you want to be sure your employees are on a safe wifi network? Use Nextel Smart Connection.
How do you secure your own wifi network? Get in touch with us for further details about our safe internet solutions.