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Security threats connected with summer surfing via public WiFi networks

June 2010 by TrustPort

TrustPort Inc., the provider of top security solutions which are among the highest rated in independent tests, warns against threats connected with summer surfing via public WiFi networks.

The popularity of the Internet continues to grow, especially throughout the holiday time. Therefore, it is possible to be connected to the Internet not only in hotels, but also in campsites, shopping malls or in parks. Free Internet connection has become a common part of our everyday life.

All information from wireless networks is transferred through free space; if the user doesn’t use sufficient protection, it is easy for hackers to tap into such information. Hackers are even able to create a special network, looking like a legitimate WiFi access point. As soon as the user logs into such a network, the hacker captures his/her login data and can easily steal their private data such as bank details, credit card numbers, social network passwords etc.

Security experts from the TrustPort company warn against the use of public WiFi networks, but if it is necessary to use WiFi from time to time, they strongly recommend to observe the following rules:

• Use an updated version of security software, which stops malicious codes at all entry points of the computer, and detects and destroys viruses in e-mails or on websites. Thanks to the combination of two top scanning engines, TrustPort PC Security provides one of the highest virus detection rates in the world, and it also detects unknown viruses on the basis of their structure and behaviour.

• Protect your personal data using backup and encryption. You can use, for example, the Archive Encryption module, implemented in TrustPort PC Security.

• Use a personal firewall which allows Internet communication but at the same time doesn´t allow intruders to access your computer. The personal firewall will offer you one-time or permanent permission or blocking of any new unknown connection.

• Check the name of the public network. There can be both legitimate and scam WiFi networks in your list of accessible networks. In some cases an illegal wireless network can have an even better signal. Always make sure that you are connecting to the right network. If you have any doubts whatsoever, check the legitimacy of the connection with a member of staff at the access point where you want to connect (café staff, hotel reception, etc.)

• In public networks, it is better to avoid access to websites where you must enter your sensitive data such as access to your internet banking or e-shopping with your credit card.

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