Avoid Public Wi-Fi

GRAPHIC: Woman with suitcases connect to public Wi-Fi. University of Florida Information Technology.

Traveling this summer? Avoid public
Wi-Fi networks as much as possible.

Using public Wi-Fi is easy because they don’t require a password. However, free unsecured access can allow hackers to watch every keystroke–as you log into bank accounts, GatorMail, make purchases, and access other files. In just seconds, all your personal and financial information can be stolen. According to Forbes, four in 10 people have had their information compromised while using public Wi-Fi.

Restaurants, hotels, and airports are among the most popular places people use unsecured Wi-Fi. Airports offer the perfect cybercrime environment. As people use public, unsecured Wi-Fi to read their emails or check the weather at their destination, someone might be tracking every click. How? One way is that hackers create free public Wi-Fi access networks with names that sound like the official airport Wi-Fi network. For instance, which would you log into: ‘CLT Free WiFi’ or ‘Charlotte Airport WiFi’? If you selected the wrong one from the list of available networks that pop up on your phone, then with just one click you are gifting all your personal information to a hacker. We are all addicted to connecting with friends, work, and family. But remember, you should only use encrypted or password-secured networks. Also, use UF’s VPN connection, so what you do send and receive is encrypted.

Visit https://news.it.ufl.edu/security/safe-travel-is-smart-travel-cyber-vigilance/ for more tips on information security and travelling safely.