The Year of WiFi Security: Protect Yourself in 2015 and Beyond
Jan 22, 2015 8:08am
ABI Research predicts that during the course of 2015 an astounding 7.1 million WiFi hotspots will be splattered across the globe, up from 4.2 million just two years ago. More and more people are using WiFi hotspots because the technology is often free to access and ubiquitous. In fact, according to a Harris Poll survey conducted on behalf of PRIVATE WiFi in March 2014, 66% of U.S. adults have used public WiFi. This means the majority of adults in America are relying on the technology to stay connected.
While constant connectivity has its benefits, the rise of mobile devices and the proliferation of WiFi networks can be a dangerous coupling. In fact, many WiFi hotspot users are unaware of the inherent risks that the technology poses—such as an increased risk of identity theft, hacking and compromised bank accounts.
The attacks mentioned above can happen on any public WiFi network. And it is nearly impossible to determine which public WiFi networks are safe and which are dangerous, so it’s best to assume that anything users do on public WiFi can be seen by others. The onus is on WiFi users to protect themselves whenever they access public WiFi.
Get savvy about WiFi hotspots by limiting the type of business you conduct on public WiFi networks if you do not have a way to secure them. Additionally, you can adjust the security settings on your devices to limit who can access your information.
Just as people already rely on antivirus and firewalls for security, a virtual private network (VPN) is another important tool that users can employ if they want security. A VPN encrypts all the data going into and out of the consumer’s computer or mobile device. This technology completely blocks hackers from accessing data sent over WiFi networks, so users are always protected.
For more details on WiFi trends, the security threats and how to stay protected this Data Privacy Day and beyond, read PRIVATE WiFi’s Whitepaper “The Hidden Dangers of Public WiFi.”
About the Author
Kent Lawson is the founder and CEO of Private Communications Corporation and creator of its flagship software PRIVATE WiFi. In 2010, after 12 years of retirement, Kent became interested in Internet privacy and security issues and the vulnerability of wireless communications in WiFi hotspots. He created Private Communications Corporation to protect consumers and corporations from privacy and security breaches on the Internet. PRIVATE WiFi, the company’s first product, protects individuals and business people while using laptops and other mobile devices at public WiFi hotspots.