Think twice before you connect to that free hotel wireless network

“What’s the first thing we do when we arrive at our new hotel? Search for and connect to the Wi-Fi,” Chris Wiles writes for BetaNews. “Any wireless connection which we think resembles the hotel network. We often try and do this at the airport, too, somewhat care-free about the network we connect to — as long as it’s free and works, we’re ok, right?”

“Wrong. Security expert Jim Stickley, reporting on behalf of Today, decided to run a test at a hotel in Cancun, Mexico, to see how easy it is to fool people to connect to a rogue network,” Wiles writes. “With permission from the hotel, where the regular network was called ‘FiestaRewards’, he setup a ‘FiestaRewards Pool’ wireless network around the pool area and waited to see who would connect. Stickley’s view was hotel guest would think ‘we’re at the pool, that must be the stronger signal down here, I’ll use that one’ and he’s not wrong.”

“Not only did people simply connect to the network without double-checking security or asking the hotel whether it was legitimate, people started using the network to pay for online purchases, checking their flights, logging in to their email and carrying out their business from the ‘free’ network,” Wiles writes. “As the network was completely unprotected, Stickley was able to extract credit card information, their email address, passwords and much more.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We use TunnelBear’s VPN service while using public Wi-Fi. TunnelBear lets users easily and quickly choose from servers located around the world in 20+ countries. TunnelBear offers unlimited data for $4.99/month.

SEE ALSO:
Macworld reviews TunnelBear VPN: Straightforward and easy to use – March 8, 2018
You need a VPN, and here’s why – February 21, 2018
Why Mac users need a VPN service – January 17, 2018
Your DNS settings may be betraying your privacy – October 24, 2017
Apple should offer their own VPN service to iOS and Mac users for security and privacy – April 5, 2017
Protecting against possible ISP snooping by using a VPN and https – April 3, 2017
Privacy 101: Why you need a VPN – March 31, 2017
Why Congress’s rejection of proposed FCC data rules will not affect your privacy in the slightest – March 31, 2017
Congress to US citizens: Online privacy isn’t dead, those who want it will just have to pay for it – March 30, 2017
U.S. Congress sends repeal of FCC broadband privacy rules to President Trump for signature – March 29, 2017
Congress votes to repeal FCC Internet privacy rules – March 28, 2017
U.S. Senate votes to overturn Internet privacy rules – March 23, 2017

14 Comments

      1. Whether the reason is an innate lack of cognitive ability, ignorance, or laziness, most people seem to go through life with the intelligence of a dog. Eat, sleep, watch TV, sniff a few things…and sex whenever you can get it.

        Sad to say, but that is largely true. Most people shy away from actual thinking – working a math problem, personal introspection, considering other points of view, etc. Most people just slog along their personal tunnel of unquestioning mental stupor.

        When it is true, you are not being cynical.

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    1. Hey Matt, are you any relation to Bobla Fett?

      I hear he earned a pretty penny for handing in Han. You have to hand it to him for that, even though it shattered the Princess.

  2. There was a time when I would always look for WiFi networks to use when away from home, but these days I get plenty of data bundled with my monthly cellular plan and don’t need to use WiFi networks unless there is a cellular reception problem locally.

    I avoid signing up for WiFi access if the log-in requires me to enter an e-mail address. I always sign up with a unique variant of my e-mail address ( via my domain ) and if that e-mail address ends up being used for unexpected marketing purposes, I can see exactly which company sold my address and of course being a unique address, it’s trivially easy to block that address.

  3. Private Internet Access is also very good, even cheaper than Tunnel for a 1-2 yr. period, it’s used by many companies. Little speed loss, a ton of servers worked-wide, and great customer support….

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