Vacationers Warning: Hackers Scam by Creating Fake Wi-Fi Spots

When on vacation a hacker doing a WI-Fi- scam is the last thing on your mind. You are sitting by the pool side and next to you is your umbrella clad drink, the one you have been thinking about all year. This is the start of your leisure time. Your worldly possessions are all wrapped up at home under the watchful eye of your high tech security system. You pull out your lap top to take a gander at your emails, answering the personal ones with lines like, “I haven’t got a care in the world”. Think again because before you get home, your financial world could be in a shambles.

Vacationers and business travelers are seen sitting in the airports, on airliners, and in hotels doing financial and personal business as if they were in the secure surroundings of their homes. With Wi-Fi being offered everywhere today as a perk by many businesses to lure in customers, personal business can be done from any location. The unsuspecting user believes that the Wi-Fi network is secure and uses it with out giving it a thought.

Hackers have been setting up false hot spots in and around the areas that people travel, such as airports, Fox reports. These hot spots are coming right off the hackers computer and as soon as you log on, they have all your information from your session on the net. This is not a rare occurrence. It is a very probable occurrence according to a spokes person from Synmantic Security Systems.

A team of security experts were sent to 27 airports. 20 in the US, 5 in Asia, and 2 in Europe. What they found will alarm you. The Wi-Fi connection hot spots were 77 percent of the time from a private source, such as someone else’s computer. What was even more alarming was that out of all the people observed on the net using their laptops, only 3 percent of them were on a secured site. They go on to add that many of these people were doing their banking, buying stocks, and reading their emails. The secured sites used in airports are aging and there is some concern that they are not safe to use. Updating their systems with the best wifi extender can be a good idea. However, careful studies and considerations must be taken into account.

Airports have been given the results of this report and are taking action to update their systems in the future. Until that day comes Symantic has made a few suggestions. Hackers are good and often can duplicate a site to mimic one of a secure network in which an airport or hotel might provide, be aware of this. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t do your personal or financial business where others can eaves drop. Keep your security programs updated and on.

Although the convenience of doing on line business anywhere is a nice concept, common sense says to make sure any business you do is on a secure site. Given the high percent of unsecured hot spots in our airports today, it might be a good idea to stick to doing business at home or your office when using Wi-Fi. Most of all if you are on vacation- stay away from business altogether and enjoy yourself.



Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.

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