How not to get hacked on vacation

More than 40 million Americans are about to hit the road for the long July Fourth weekend. Despite that overwhelming desire to get away from it all, most of us want to stay connected.

You’re on summer vacation at a fabulous destination, and you can’t wait to share photos on social media.

Lucky for you, there’s Wi-Fi at the hotel, at the cafe on the corner, and on planes and trains in between.

Unlucky for you, it could be risky.

Most wi-fi users know to use more caution when using a free hotspot.  Paying to use a connection at a hotel, an airport or on an airplane, however, can create a false sense of security.

Whether it’s paid or not, whether there’s a password involved or not, nearly all of them are completely unsecure. the reason that wifi hotspots put passwords on their wifi is not to protect the individual, but rather to limit usage.

Kent lawson of private Wi-Fi, a service and mobile app aimed at protecting wi-fi users, recommends that travelers:

– Confirm the name of a hotel or restaurant’s hotspot with the establishment’s staff.
– Disable features on a mobile device that automatically connect to any network within range.
– Don’t connect to ad hoc networks. there’s no way to tell if they’re secure.
– And turn off a device’s wi-fi connection when not in use.

Another option is a VPN — a virtual private network — which creates a secure network within a Wi-Fi connection, usually by logging in through a website.

Or just take a break and save certain activities for a home computer. after all, you are on vacation.

(Copyright 2013 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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