Europol has finally announced that using public Wi-Fi is not safe enough to do banking, shopping, or any form of transaction due to its vulnerability. Many people already know the dangers of using a public Wi-Fi spot’s but don’t know how easy it is for people to get your information, So let me enlighten you.
About four years ago there was a browser add on by the name of ‘Firesheep browser extention’ which let the user hijack the Wi-Fi though packet sniffing, with a range of around 100 to 120 meters it was easy for people to sit in a car or building away from the hotspot and take your information. They do this by watching the information you type in and that’s it. HOW EASY WAS THAT!
Troels Oerting, the head of Europol’s cyber crime centre, told the BBC.
“We should teach users that they should not address sensitive information while being on an open insecure Wi-Fi internet,” he said. “They should do this from home where they know actually the Wi-Fi and its security; but if you are in a coffee shop somewhere you shouldn’t access your bank, or do all of these things that actually transfer very sensitive information.”
A nice quote came from Sean Sullivan F-Secure analyst “better late than never”.
“This has been a concern for years – that’s why sensible companies force employees to use VPN (virtual private network) connections. Does insecurity stop me from using open hotspots? Nope, I use free Wi-Fi all the time and I don’t plan on changing that particular habit any time soon. If you want to use an open Wi-Fi hotspot to search for the latest sports scores – go for it,” he added. “But if you want to check your bank balance, read your email, or have a private chat with your friends – get yourself a VPN service.”