Using free access points to save money on transfer is a natural thing to do. Just remember to keep the basic precautions, which unfortunately is much worse - and as an interesting experiment showed, the problem is not only those who are not oriented on new technologies.
Manufacturers of modern gadgets try to make them as user-friendly as possible. But there is nothing to cheat - the level of their advancement requires some basic knowledge. Otherwise, the user may unconsciously endanger themselves.
It would seem that guests visiting the Mobile Electronics Fair are not threatening - but the experiment conducted by Avast proves to be the opposite.
Researchers just before opening the fair at the Barcelona airport set up several open access points. They named them "Starbucks", "Airport_Free_Wifi_AENA" or MWC Free WiFi. After four hours, 8 million data packets were captured from over two thousand users.
The basic statistics obtained are:
- Operating system: iOS (50.1%), Android (43.4%), Windows Phone (6.5%),
- 61.7% used Google search or checked Gmail,
- 14.9% visited Yahoo,
- 1% used dating apps (Tinder or Badoo),
- over 63.5% were able to view the identity of the device and the user.
Many people are aware that using publicly available networks is not safe, keeping in mind, for example, not to log into your bank account or check your mail.
The thing is that we do not always remember that, or forget about the functions and settings of our own equipment. It is enough that the phone will automatically connect to the network of the given name - which gives cheaters a great opportunity to impersonate a puppet network, for example.
What to keep in mind:
- Restrict automatic login to trusted networks only, whether home or work,
- pay attention to which network you connect, everyone can set up a network access point and call it freely,
- open Wi-Fi network, so not password protected, allows you to capture data packets from your device even to a person who is listening only (not a network administrator);)
- you want to check just the simple information on the web page? Keep in mind that if you are logged in to a web browser, your "voyeur" may also show your profile.