Wi-Fi Security During Business Trips & Conferences

Although it’s often easy to use pub­lic Wi-Fi when you’re trav­el­ing, it’s also easy for some­one to eaves­drop on your Inter­net ses­sions, even with Wi-Fi encryp­tion enabled.


For exam­ple, the free net­work man­age­ment tool Wire­shark has a built-in func­tion that auto­mat­i­cal­ly decrypts net­work traf­fic as long as you input the Wi-Fi pass­word, which is typ­i­cal­ly post­ed on a sign for every­one to see.

Why do peo­ple want to view Wi-Fi traf­fic? The moti­va­tions are sim­i­lar to why peo­ple attack com­put­ers in gen­er­al: To steal mon­ey or steal secrets (e.g., pass­words, social secu­ri­ty num­bers, pend­ing busi­ness deals) that can be sold for mon­ey. Oth­ers with polit­i­cal agen­das also steal data to fur­ther their cause.

Wher­ev­er you are, avoid pub­lic Wi-Fi in favor of a portable hot spot. Often, you can acti­vate one on your mobile phone if you have that fea­ture from your car­ri­er. If you have no oth­er choic­es and must be online, turn on a vir­tu­al pri­vate net­work (VPN) as soon as you can after con­nect­ing to some­one else’s Wi-Fi. If your com­pa­ny does­n’t have a VPN, you can get one your­self, often for free, from a provider such as the high­ly rat­ed CyberGhost VPN.

Final thought: Just because Star­bucks, or some oth­er trust­ed brand, offers free Wi-Fi does­n’t mean their Wi-Fi is as trust­wor­thy as their paid prod­ucts and ser­vices. Data thieves count on this con­fu­sion in the minds of con­sumers to steal data from every­where they can!

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