Many of us are tempted at the opportunity to log on to any free wifi particularly at airports. It is even more reassuring for us when we see names relating to airports and places we are familiar with. This is perfectly fine when we log on to genuine networks. However, the dangers are exponential when and if we get caught by criminals who sometimes set up these names to fool people.
If unfortunate to log on to wifi set up by criminals, your details could be hacked and all information from your phone extracted. Cyber criminals can also use this to spy on you.
Avast, a well known Internet company decided to carry out an experiment to see how easy it was to draw people into using an Internet wifi they thought was safe.
At Barcelona airport, they set up next to a registration booth for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) internet conference and called their three wifi’s ‘Starbucks’, ‘Airport_Free_Wifi_AENA’ and ‘MWC Free’. They then waited to see how many people would jump at the opportunity to use these networks.
The result was that over 2,000 people tried to connect to these networks. Although Avast didn’t store any details of the people who logged on to their wifi, they claim to have been able to track details of over half of the people who logged on if they had wanted to.
This shows how easy it is to get in trouble using free wifi. To safeguard ourselves, it is worth checking the settings on our phones to ensure we are not set up to automatically connect to wifi. This gives us the opportunity to check and verify what our phones are automatically connecting to.