How to avoid falling into the Wifi trap
While waiting for a train or our appointment, many of us may occasionally take a quick look at our emails or our Facebook account - in which case, we might use one of the free Wi-fi networks available almost everywhere. You would do well, however, to be careful, for surfing on a free Wi-fi network is not always risk-free. Cybercriminals can easily intercept your data on this type of network.
Cybercriminals are particularly inventive
Cybercriminals may set up fake Wi-fi networks. Connecting to these fake networks allows them to steal your data (e.g. your passwords). Hackers can also redirect you to fake websites in order to install malware on your computer.
Sometimes, they also use a technique called Wi-fi sniffing. The cybercriminal sets up his laptop close to a Wi-fi hotspot. Using software and a particular type of Wi-fi adapter, he is able to capture all the information passing through the hotspot. He stores them on his hard drive and later searches the data for the most interesting information, such as passwords or account numbers.
5 tips for surfing in complete safety
- Install anti-virus software or a security application on your smartphone, tablet or computer. This protects them against viruses, spyware and hackers.
- Beware of authentic-looking Wi-fi networks that may in fact be operated by cybercriminals. Always check whether the name of the hotspot is correct and do not connect to just any old network.
- Make sure your device only connects to a network chosen by you so that you know you’re using a secure connection. Do not allow your device to connect automatically to Wi-fi networks.
- Avoid Wi-fi connections without passwords. Anyone can intercept Wi-fi signals, and as soon as you are connected you will be communicating via a non-encrypted connection.
Finally, use your own provider whenever you want to consult your bank accounts, make online payments or send important data. This network is much more secure than a Wi-fi hotspot.
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