Don’t Tug on Superman’s Cape: Why You Should Always Use a VPN In Wifi Hotspots

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Check out this hilarious video from the security experts at McAfee. It suggests that although everyone thinks they have a great security solution — let’s be honest – it’s scary out there.

Any quick skim of the news these days will reveal hackers, identity thieves, and countless other cybercrooks intent on stealing your passwords, accessing your online bank accounts, or compromising your identity in some way.

And the risks only go up when you’re accessing the Internet from a public hotspot. Luckily, one of the easiest security steps you can take is to use a virtual private network (VPN) like the PRIVATE WiFi™ product whenever you use public wireless to access the Internet. A VPN is the best way to create a secure connection between your computer device and the Internet.

Indeed, all across the blogosphere, and on countless computer security news sites, the big advice is to use a VPN when you’re at the airport, or at a coffee shop, or hanging out in any number of wifi hotspots.

ComputerWorld recently featured an in-depth article entitled “Why the Bad Guys Are Winning,” and sure enough, one of the most obvious causes is because most people use unencrypted public wifi networks without a VPN.

As the article explains:

“You don’t spit into the wind, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you shouldn’t use unencrypted public WiFi networks without a VPN. It opens up a slew of potential problems.”

Other reasons cited for why so many computer systems and networks get broken into include things like:

  • Bad guys rarely get caught.
  • The bad guys are constantly getting better, both in the sophistication of their software and their scams.
  • Bad guys trick Google into listing malicious web pages and images near the top of search results.
  • People still use WEP encryption on their home wifi networks; WEP encryption is easily broken, unlike the two newer schemes WPA and WPA2.
  • The “from” address of an email address is easy to forge, yet too few people know this.
  • People are gullible.

What’s your take? If you are taking extra security steps, what are they? Do you spend much time thinking about what preventive steps to take before it’s too late, or are you simply letting the bad guys win?

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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.

1 Response

  1. Elena says:

    Funny movies but problem is huge. A few months ago somebody stolen password to my email account and used it to send a spam. I lost my password probably during my last trip to Asia, because I used no protect laptop on airport. My Thai friends instructed me to use securitykiss as very easy to use VPN. So now I use VPN all time. Maybe it paranoia but I want to feel safe.

    By the way very interesting website.