wifi spoofing (AKA “evil twin”; “man-in-the-middle”): Just as fake as your favorite late show parody, but day and night when it comes to comic relief. A technique used by cyber criminals to trick internet users into trusting bogus wireless networks, WiFi spoofing is no laughing matter. In an attempt to lead the unsuspecting down a path ending in compromised personal data, WiFi spoofing preys on users’ trust, tantalizes with convenience, and relies on our distraction. When traveling, the risk can’t be overstated, with an estimated 89% of global hotspots reported as unsecure. With the help of apps and online tutorials, it’s relatively easy for the average computer literate person to spoof. The resulting reach is broad, and it’s been used to fool folks for years. So while we all love the thought of free WiFi, the fraud and theft that could tag along should make us think twice. How to skip out on the spoof? Check—double and triple—that the network you’re joining is legit, and avoid password-free WiFi. Encryption is key to a secure connection, so always look for “https” in the address bar. And be sure the settings on your device don’t give it free reign to connect at will to any available network. With a few tips under your belt and eyes wide open, you won’t let cyber criminals have the last laugh.
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