Wireless networks and public WiFI hotspots provide a fast and easy connection to the Internet at home, work, airports, coffee shops, and more. But these networks—particularly those that are unsecured or unencrypted—are vulnerable to hackers who may hijack or intercept a wireless signal in order to steal sensitive personal information, infect the system with malware, or even steal Internet bandwidth. Taking precautions can help minimize the risk.
What You Can Do?
- Do not use any wireless network that is unsecured, or does not require a password.
- Do not perform online banking or any financial transaction over an unsecured wireless connection.
- Make sure your home wireless network is password-protected.
- On your home wireless network, do not use a wireless router with the outdated WEP security encryption system, as it is easily compromised. Use WPA, WPA2, WPA2-PSK, or WPA2-ENT, all of which are more secure, instead.
- Change the default password and SSID (network name) of your home wireless network regularly. Use a strong password, such as a combination of letters and numbers of 14 characters or more.
- Allow only authorized users to access your home wireless network. Do not share your password with anyone not authorized to use the network.
- Avoid using public or shared computers, such as those at a library, to access financial accounts or conduct online transactions.
- Avoid using public WiFi networks to conduct transactions. Public WiFi networks may require a password, but that does not ensure a secure connection.
- Install and maintain antivirus software on your computers to minimize the damage of any possible attack on your network.