Protecting Your Information
Most security issues with wireless internet have to do with something called “discovery,” which is exactly what it sounds like. When your cell phone or laptop recognizes available wireless networks, they may also pick up counterfeit networks issued by hackers looking to access your files, steal your passwords, and hijack your identity. And since most of us on the internet recycle and reuse our passwords, it only takes a single error in judgment to make accounts vulnerable.
One of the most infamous forms of this kind of hack is called a “man-in-the-middle” attack, where a hacker intercepts a signal between two parties while relaying their respective communications. The legitimate parties on either end of the transmission don’t know their messages are being read, altered, and then re-encrypted before being sent along. Hackers can easily become the man in the middle by setting up false networks.
If a hacker goes to their local coffee shop, they can set up a counterfeit wireless network that looks legitimate. Maybe they call it “Coffee Shop Wireless,” remove the password so any user can access it, and let unsuspecting victims connect. From there, the hacker can watch all user activity – even when users access their email or bank accounts – without the user realizing that their data is being collected.
Quick, Easy Fixes
An easy way to avoid exposing yourself to attacks is to turn off your device’s auto-connect setting. Another? Don’t access sensitive information while connected to a public network. And if you’re connecting to internet provided by an establishment like a hotel or restaurant, a third way to stay safe is to make sure the network name is correct, and not a dummy network someone is using as a phish. For the more technically literate, virtual private networks (VPNs) can provide an additional layer of security.
Most router hardware is compiled from third-party component pieces. These components each have their own security protocols, which makes them susceptible to obsolescence and hacking. Vertically integrated hardware is more resilient against these inadequacies, as reputable firms producing routers in a top-down approach are more likely to keep security protocols updated against new forms of cyberattacks. For more information about how Hook’d protects users, please contact us.