Are you aware your computer’s information can be stolen while you are connected to wireless Internet? Falling for a wireless Internet scam can be worse than having your credit card information stolen. Not only can hackers steal your credit card information, they can also steal other sensitive information such as your bank login information, social security number, and other data straight from your computer.
The best way to avoid being scammed when using wireless Internet is to be conscious of the different types of scams hackers try to commit, and where they commit them. Hackers have created a variety of ways to work their way into your computer, and this poses a threat to all of the information on your device. Protect yourself by learning how to avoid falling for a scam, and how to protect your computer.
Wireless Internet via air travel is not as secure as once thought. As reported by the Huffington Post, Wi-Fi on most commercial airliners is no safer than an unsecured network at a public location. It was commonly believed that wireless Internet on commercial flights had a secure layer of protection, but this is not the case. Take note of this and avoid logging into your bank account or other financial website where your valuable information could be stolen.
Most hotels secure their wireless Internet with a password, but some leave it wide open for anyone to access. Some people book a hotel room for the sole intent to steal other guest’s information. Avoid conducting any type of activity on the Internet that reveals bank account information, passwords for your email, or other important information with sensitive data.
Remember, there are also people who set up fake Wi-Fi hot spots. Hackers either create a fake wireless Internet connection for hotels that do not offer the service, or they create a second connection to fool guests. If you see a wireless connection for a hotel that did not previously mention wireless Internet as part of the accommodations, you are definitely going to want to call the front desk to verify whether or not it is indeed to hotel’s Internet connection.
3. Wi-Fi at work
If your employer offers free Wi-Fi, they may be putting your information at risk. It may be a nice gesture for them to leave their wireless Internet open without a password, but this enables scammers to easily phish for data.
Avoid using wireless Internet when an employer offers it without password protection. If you care about your employer and fellow employees, inform them of the dangers that an open network can provide. Let your boss know that everyone’s information could be at risk, including the company’s sensitive data.
Think you’re slick by connecting to a Wi-Fi connection from another company in your building? Well the joke may be on you. Hackers can easily set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots in business buildings to lure in people who want to leach off of free Internet. Since there are a lot of wireless hot spots in a building, a lot of hackers target these areas as places to phish for data. You should only connect to wireless hot spots that you know and trust, not random connections you conveniently find.
How to protect yourself
There are a variety of ways you can protect the information on your computer while you are using it. Use the following tips to avoid having your information stolen:
- Type in “https” instead of “http” when browsing websites on your computer. Many people do not know this, but adding the “S” creates a secure socket layer. That layer encrypts your browser traffic, which in turn prevents hackers from being able to see any text you type on your browser when surfing the web.
- Buy software that encrypts the actual data on your computer. Protect your important files with a layer of encrypted protection so that hackers cannot access your documents to find out information about you. Hackers won’t be able to steal any information on your computer, even if they somehow manage to access your computer’s files.
- Turn off automatic sharing on your computer, as you may unknowingly allow someone else to easily access your computer to view all of the information inside. Before you begin using your computer check to make sure you turned off automatic sharing.
- Install a firewall to make it difficult for someone to see what you are doing when browsing the Internet.
- Turn off your computer’s Wi-Fi when you are not on the Internet. If you are reviewing documents or looking at photos, there’s no real need to remain connected to the Internet. Turn off your wireless Internet connection to prevent someone else from sneaking their way onto your computer.