Free WiFi is everywhere now. Most coffee shops in central London have one; you can even get it at McDonald’s in Regent street. But next time you’re accessing free and open WiFi aka unsecured WiFi; STOP and think for a second. Consider the following:
- Do you have anything in your shared / network folders that might be sensitive, e.g. work documents, family photos, username/passwords? If the answer is yes then move that data into a secure folder before connecting. Once you are connected you are under the same LAN network as everyone else in the coffee shop so all shared stuff will be available to everyone
- Are you receiving email via SSL? No? Then don’t open your email client because all communication to and from your email server will be open to hackers who do not have to do much hacking as all communication is sent in plain-text.
- Don’t use web based email if it does not support https for the same reason above. Most web based email services don’t support https with the exception of Gmail.
I’m sure there are other security holes but these are the three that came to mind. Sorry for scaremongering. Real as the threat may be I’m sure the chances of getting hacked in a coffee shop is pretty low!