Free Wi-Fi or Trap?
by Scimson on January 26, 2014 - 2:07pm
Free wireless Wi-Fi networks are almost everywhere nowadays. It would appear banal to connect to a free and public network with a decent name, but it can bounce to something much less legitimate. These fake "hotspot" are frequent and will often prompt those who connect by requiring them to enter their username and password on an interface designed to replicate popular websites like Facebook. Obviously this interface does not log into the said website, but rather sends the credentials to the host for malicious usage. This is something the journalist Ian Steadman has experienced recently, as he said in his article "A reminder that public Wi-Fi hotspots may not always be what they seem", that he published on January 4th 2014. Fortunately for him, he was able to notice it was fake before giving his precious personal information. Some people would say it is banal if you are careful, but being on a public network gives access to anyone with the proper knowledge to view the content a person might be viewing.
Now, what can a person do to protect herself from such threat? Well, the easiest method would be to avoid free networks even though they are often very practical. But, if someone really needs to access the internet, then some precautions should be taken. The first and obvious would be to never use anything related to credit cards or banking while on public networks. Also, if possible, avoiding the use of websites that require login or if necessary make sure that it isn't a phishing scam before logging in.
Here is a link to Steadman's article: