What are the dangers of using public Wi-Fi connections?
Many public Wi-Fi hotspots don't encrypt the information you send over the internet, and are not secure. If you use an unsecured network to log into an unencrypted website -- or a site that uses encryption only on its sign-in page -- other users on the network can see what you see and what you send. They could hijack your browsing session and log in as you. Your personal information, private documents, contacts, family photos, and even your login credentials, could be up for grabs. An imposter could use your account to impersonate you and scam people. In addition, a hacker could test your user name and password to try to gain access to other websites -- including sites that store your financial information.
If the network at a location such as a hotel requires a password to be used, is it safer?
Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, libraries, airports, hotels, universities, and other public places are convenient, but they're often not secure. When using a hotspot, it's best to send information only to websites that are fully encrypted. WEP and WPA encryption are the most common, and WPA2 is the strongest. WPA encryption protects your information against common hacking programs. WEP may not. You can be confident a hotspot is secure only if it asks you to provide a WPA password. To be sure a site is encrypted, look for a closed lock symbol in the address bar and an address that begins with https.
What are some things that can be done to protect users on public networks?
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