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Absolutely Accurate News

March 2015

The dangers of free WI-FI


Do you try to save data usage by logging into free Wi-Fi?  Your frugality can cost you your own identity.  Criminals use free Wi-Fi traffic to collect usernames and passwords.  It is a fairly cheap crime to commit, as a hotspot system can be purchased for less than $250. The hotspot is given a credible name, such as the name of a nearby mall, and the hackers just sit back and collect the data.   


Recent research has found that many people unhesitatingly connect to free Wi-Fi, even when they do not know where it is coming from.  This can happen automatically, without the owner of the device even knowing that it occurs.  And, when the research was done requiring connectors to sign a terms and conditions page, it was found that people did not read them.  In one study, the terms and conditions stated that the user would have to give up their firstborn child or favorite pet to connect, and people quickly agreed!


Not only do you need to protect your banking information, but you will want to keep your email and social media accounts, such as Facebook, secure. These can easily give away your schedule so criminals will know when your house is empty, or what school your children attend. 


How to protect yourself:

  • Treat all open Wi-Fi as unencrypted. When you connect to an open Wi-Fi network like one at a coffee shop or airport, the network is generally unencrypted; you can tell because you don't have to enter a passphrase when connecting. Your unencrypted network traffic is then clearly visible to everyone in range.
  • Avoid doing any banking or other financial matters on free Wi-Fi.
  • Treat paid internet, such as the one you pay for at a hotel, the same as free Wi-Fi. It can easily become infected.
  • Use a two-factor authentication on every website that requires a second password.
  • Use strong random passwords.
  • Use the longest password permitted.
  • Make your passwords random to avoid a "dictionary attack".
  • Set your Smart-phone to "Do not allow automatic connection to free Wi-Fi.

Transcription Plus, LLC takes internet safety very seriously.  We use state-of-the-art HIPAA complaint secure webservers.  Contact us here to find out how we keep our customer's information safe.


Mary Goehring

Transcription Plus, LLC


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"We use Transcription Plus for a variety of content, from lectures and conferences to transcribing video tapes and teleconferences. The turnaround time is great, sometimes as short as 24 hours. Accuracy is better than other services we have used. If you've got an important job, go with these folks, you won't be disappointed."
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