Using public Wi-Fi without taking steps to protect yourself can be disastrous, Queensland Police say.
Public Wi-Fi in hotels, airports and even cafes can be a prime spot for phishing. Phishing is when someone attempts to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons.
With everyone on the same easily accessible network, it’s very easy for someone to look at what you’re doing and steal your information.
Ways to protect yourself include:
• use a password-protected hotspot
• look for ‘https’ in the website address and padlock on the web browser
• turn off location services on your device
• consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for privacy and security
• confirm the ‘official’ hotspot name and manually connect to it
• turn on your firewall (if applicable) and virus scanner
If you can’t connect securely, please avoid:
• online banking or shopping
• sending confidential emails
• entering passwords or credit card details unless you’re using a secure website.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network and shields your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.
It is recommended if you are looking to use a mobile VPN app, take several steps before signing up to a particular app:
• shop around
• compare functionality and
• read reviews.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers.