Saturday, November 12, 2011

Americans still lax with Wi-Fi security: Dangerous in today's world?

Free Wi-Fi is everywhere. There are more than a million hotspots worldwide, in everything from coffee shops to airports to hotels, and more.

Finding a free Wi-Fi hotspot is a great convenience, but it can put your personal information at risk.

And, reports Susan Koeppen of CBS station KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, a recent survey shows the most appropriate mark for Americans when it comes to protecting that info at such hotspots is "D."

The survey, by the Wi-Fi Alliance, found only two-thirds of Wi-Fi users have taken recommended steps to keep the information from prying eyes.

The alliance's Kelly Davis-Felner says, "Consumers should be very, very cautious when using publicly available Wi-Fi."

To see just how easy it is for someone to steal your information while using Wi-Fi, Koeppen headed to Carnegie Mellon University and met up with ethical hacker Spencer Whitman.

"Anyone can capture the traffic coming out of your computer," he told Koeppen.

So she put Whitman to the test, with computers sitting back to back, Koeppen got into CMU's open Wi-Fi network.

On Facebook, she posted a status saying, "Working on story about Wi-Fi dangers! See how quickly our ethical hacker can get into my Facebook account. His name is Spencer." more