It really is wonderful being able to conduct business pretty much anywhere you can travel. Short of being in a remote location you can find WiFi access in coffee shops, airports, hotel lobbies and many more public spaces. Unfortunately with that easy access comes the dangers of using WiFi that can be accessed by others including cyber criminals. Let’s look at the double edged sword of using public WiFi.
PROS – The convenience and ease-of-access of public WiFi can not be beat. This is especially true for business travelers who hope to get some work done in between flights, or while staying at a hotel. Some even find it helpful to access the internet while having coffee at a free WiFi cafe. When considering the mobile business life of most companies today, having access to WiFi in so many locations is a definite advantage.
CONS – Unfortunately with the ease-of-use and access comes some serious disadvantages to public WiFi. Research shows that free wireless public networks located in airports and other public places are ripe for exploitation by hackers. When a user logs in the device they are using is open to potential hacking and malware that is out there. The biggest threat to free Wi-Fi security is the ability for the hacker to position himself between you and the connection point. So instead of talking directly with the hotspot, you’re sending your information to the hacker, who then relays it on.
To counteract this threat we suggest using a VPN – a virtual private network – or at the very least turn off sharing when you are in public. In order to maintain some level of safety only turn on the WiFi when you really need it. For more suggestions on staying safe when using public WiFi contact M&H Consulting.