Free WIFI?

In the days of modern living – you can grab free WIFI from all over the place – KFC, Starbucks, Kenny Rogers – heck I even know of a local restaurant at a small town that offers free WIFI! Everyone is just so tempted to be online.

But are you aware of the dangerous possibilities that may occur by using these free services?

free wifi are dangerous?

Here is what I did to find out…

You need to remember – when you send and receive data/infos from your free WIFI providers – ALL DATAs and INFORMATIONs will pass through them before it reaches the Internet Service Provider (ISP), and vice versa.

While these packets of data and informations is not visible to everyone – However, it is visible if they WANT to see it – and here is how :

The free WIFI provider may set up his server to run SNIFFERS – and as all those data’s and informations pass though it directly – you can be very vulnerable to spying attacks (anti spyware and anti virus does not work here, sorry!)

For instance, all of your browsing activities can be monitored and logged using Effetech HTTP Sniffer :

HTTP sniffer

You can see clearly from the screenshot above that all HTTPs activities are monitored (and can be logged automatically) in real-time.

If you think you can live with that, how about an Instant Messenger (IM) Sniffer? Pictured below is the Yahoo Messenger Sniffer that silently monitor your chat conversations without you even knowing it.

IM sniffer

There are also password sniffers that grab your user ID and password to websites and IM softwares (which I won’t discuss here) – Identity theft could happen – or your online banking account might get compromised.

As a safety precaution, you might want to do the following :

  • Do not visit any banking websites via free WIFI
  • Make sure you do not have any shared folders open for anonymous
  • Get yourself a firewall program – ZoneAlarm is my personal choice
  • Get a secured VPN connection – this way, it tunnels your data and hides it

All the best, and safe surfing! 🙂

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