24 days of security

Today I’d like to remind you about a risk of something that too often we don’t think anything about and just take for granted…. wifi.  Walk into a Coffee shop and you will find people using a wifi that they don’t know anything about.  Go to a hotel and the check in process hands you a password to a wifi access point.

Yet you should think about what CAN occur on a hotel or public wifi which includes malware, man in the middle attacks, Malicious hotspots, or wifi sniffing.  I generally make it a rule to not connect to a wifi access point that I haven’t personally installed (my home and office), or personally know who has (friends and family).

Now you can add vpn services like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, OpenVPN and any number of other VPN services that put a layer of protection around your connection, but my recommendation is to also pay for that as well.  Don’t rely on free.  As a general rule “free” means that you are the product they are selling.  Review the end user license agreement very carefully, or don’t connect at all.

Also consider the device you travel with.  As a general rule, traveling with an ipad or android tablet is not only easier to get through the TSA lines, but also less of a target for malware.  Not saying that ipads are immune but giving the apps store experience, there is more of a vetting process that goes on.  When I do travel with a laptop for travelling, I travel with a (now several years older) Surface with built in cellular connection so I have the easy ability to get online with a paid cellular connection and not connecting to the Amtrak wifi, hotel wifi or coffee shops.  It’s getting a bit slow now and I’m looking forward to replacing it with a newer lightweight device that contains built in cellular as well.

Too often I see too many of us in restaurants, hotels and coffee shops with our nose in our phones or computers and not enjoying the ambiance of the moment.  Time to be a bit more paranoid about connecting to the wifi and make eye contact with that person sitting across the room from you.