“Turns out free WiFi has a price,” explained WNBC New York’s Andrew Siff in a recent segment.
As public WiFi connections expand in New York City’s subway system, Siff recognized the security implications. To get a better understanding, he spent some time underground with PRIVATE WiFi’s CEO Kent Lawson and Product Growth Manager Raj Devjani.
Using simple, readily available software, Devjani was able to sniff the data of commuters accessing the WiFI network. He explained to Siff, “I can get into your e-mail so I know a lot.”
Lawson continued, “All you have to do is put together enough dots, and you can steal somebody’s identity.” The public may not believe it, but hacking public WiFi is a real threat.
Luckily, there is a solution. “The best way to protect yourself if using a VPN client,” said Zack Sterngold, Boingo’s Vice President.
According to WNBC, “Computer security experts say the same advice that applies at coffee shops and parks and other places where you can tap into free hotspots needs to be reinforced underground… Experts recommend that riders… [on] public Wi-Fi should use a VPN, or virtual private network, to protect their correspondence.”