The Perils of using Facebook on Public WiFi

facebook wifi
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The next time you to connect to Facebook on a public hotspot, take a second to think about your security. What you probably just intended as a quick log on to update your status or check your account may have perilous consequence.

You may not realize it, but you are extremely vulnerable with you log into Facebook through a public wireless connection. This can lead to identity theft or even credit fraud.

Connecting to a public WiFi network that offers free Internet access any Facebook user incredibly vulnerable to hacking attacks. Unfortunately, many users assume using public wireless is the same as logging into our home or office networks. But public WiFi is not secure at all. You are entirely responsible for protecting their data and communications.

In recent years, two hacking tools specifically designed to help hackers easily hijack another user’s Facebook account have come to light: Firesheep and FaceNiff. As these tools — one for computers and another for android mobile devices, respectively — have entered the spotlight, even Facebook recommends that all users, especially those connecting on a public hotspots, use HTTPS for added security. Using this encrypted protocol is an important step for keeping your Facebook account safe from being hacked on an open or poorly secured wireless network.

However, there is more that you can do to keep your account credentials and communications private when using WiFi: use a virtual private network (VPN). Although the secure browsing of HTTPS mentioned above is better than nothing, it still leaves you exposed to other kinds of hacking attempts.

There are so many ways your private information can be compromised while using social media sites like Facebook. Since WiFi signals are just radio waves, anyone within range can “listen in” to what you’re doing on Facebook. All it takes is a laptop and simple, readily available software and a hacker can easily view.

The best way to protect and secure your sensitive information is to use a VPN, like PRIVATE WiFi, which encrypts the data moving to and from your laptop. The encryption protects all your Internet communication from being intercepted by others in WiFi hotspots. By using a VPN, you can stop hacking software like Firesheep and FaceNiff dead in its tracks, which will keep all your private Facebook activities secured.

Get Private Wifi   Protect your personal information.
Get DataCompress   Cut your mobile data usage.

Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.

  • Sandra

    Is there something for a IPad2? I see the requirements are like for a laptop.

    • Jillian Ryan

      Hi Sandra: Great question. Right now our personal VPN software only supports PC and Macs. We do not have a mobile extension, but it is on the list down the road. Thanks for your interest. If you have any issues installing the product, please contact our customer support staff!

  • Barb

    How do we go about using a VPN? Is this something you have to purchase? Are there settings somewhere we can change?can you tell us how to go about this please.
    Thanks

    • Jillian Ryan

      Hi Barb: Thanks for your question. Our personal VPN is available for download at this page: http://www.privatewifi.com/try/. You can get a free 3-day trial. After that you can opt to purchase an extended license; a 6 month subscription is only $24.95. If you have any further questions about our product or service, do not hesitate to call our customer service support team.

  • Shari

    It is $10 bucks a month.

  • Sharon

    Whilst it is helpful to advise us ignoratum about such things it would be more helpful if you tell us how to go about making the changes you recommend. Merely saying “use a virtual private network (VPN)” without giving instructions on how to do so just isnt good enough, sorry.

    • Jillian Ryan

      Sorry for the confusion, Sharon. In the article above we do link to our personal VPN product, Private WiFi. You can download a free 3-day trial of the service here: http://www.privatewifi.com/try/. If you wish to continue to use our encrpted connection, you can opt to purchase a license; a 6 month subscription is only $24.95. You will be prompted with this after your trial expires. If you have any further concerns or questions, do not hesitate to ask our customer service team. Thanks!

  • Anne

    I have an ACCUWEATHER app on my KINDLE which uses available WIFI or 3G should I be cocerned? My home connection is broadband. And thank-you for all of the information that you provide us!

  • Robert J Harland Jr

    What about Privacy Issues via WiFi for the Nook ??