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Wi-Fi Report From Olympics Spotlights Ease of Hacking

NBC News Correspondent Richard Engel

An NBC correspondent covering the 2014 Winter Olympics caused a worldwide stir when he reported that Sochi was a gold mine for hackers–hackers who were targeting the laptops and smart phones of American athletes and fans. Experts disagreed. A Gartner analyst said most everything they describe in the story is as equally true at your local Starbucks as it is in Sochi.

→ Any device being used in public, in fact, is a target and at risk.

Luckily, users can champion safe browsing practices when it comes to protecting their devices from malicious IMs, emails, and websites. Keep these Wi-Fi safety tips in mind next time you plug in at a public place:

  • Keep your web browser, antivirus software, and operating system up-to-date
  • Beware! Sketchy IMs, emails, and pop-ups could potentially be cyber criminals in disguise
  • Strong passwords rule: combine upper- and lowercase letters with numbers and punctuation
  • Back up all important files to a removable disk or external hard drive

For more safe Wi-Fi tips, visit the Information Security Office’s website.