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Staying Secure on Public Wifi

January 11, 2018 News

From time to time our staff at Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. (SBI) find it helpful to pass along information that we hope can keep you from becoming a victim.

A recent newsletter published in New Atlas included an article about public WiFi security written by Emily Ferron. Emily did an excellent job of describing the various security threats when using public WiFi and practices to help keep you secure.

The following examples are ways that a cybercriminal can access your private data:

Fake Hotspots: Criminals will often set up a rogue hotspot with an innocuous name like, “Free Public WiFi”, thus creating networks that appear to be legitimate. Hackers can set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots in public places such as airports, hotels, and coffee shops to access your information, passwords, and emails without your knowledge. NOTE: Always be vigilant and never use an unsecured network if you have access to a password protected option and never use WiFi for banking purposes.

“Man in the Middle” or MiTM Attack: One of the leading cyber threats consumers are likely to face comes from man-in-the-middle attacks (MiTM). MiTM attacks allow hackers to insert themselves between the user and the website or service they ‘re trying to use. This will allow the hacker to read the victim’s emails, see what websites they’re visiting, steal valuable personal information, impersonate the user by stealing cookies, passwords and much more.

Wireless “Sniffing” IT professionals use “packet analyzer” hardware and software to observe, intercept and interpret data. This helps them diagnose problems, identify outside attacks, maintain network speed and more, but in the hands of a hacker, that same packet analyzing technology can be used to collect, monitor, and decode a victim’s data.

Here are two simple steps you can take to add layers of protection to your Internet experience:

Surf with The Right Settings

Most of today’s computers have a built-in firewall that you can turn on and off. It’s just one measure that protects your computer from unwanted access. At home, you may be using a private network that is already protected with a firewall, but when you’re in public, that might not be the case.

Be Vigilant

In locations with many Wi-Fi networks available, make sure you’re connecting to the right one. Don’t fall victim to a rogue hotspot, and don’t use an unsecured network if you have access to a password-protected option. Avoid using public WiFi for sensitive browsing, like online banking or shopping, on shared networks entirely.

If you’re ever the victim of a cyber-attack, or concerned that you are the victim of surveillance strategies, such as a wiretap, spy cams, a tracking device or any other clandestine eavesdropping devices meant to intercept sensitive, classified or private information, then we are ready to help you put your worries to rest.

Contact us today or click on the following link to our blog to learn more about Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (

Need a private investigator?

Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. provides seasoned and effective private investigation services for clients throughout the United States and Internationally. Our combined 80 years as law enforcement officers coupled with our private investigative experience distinguishes us from all other investigation businesses. If you’re in need of a private investigator, we’re here to assist you in any way we can. 

Call today at 888-406-0149 to contact us and request a consultation!

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