Twitter Chat Sponsored by ITRC and PRIVATE WiFi Raises Awareness of Public WiFi Dangers

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Earlier this month, PRIVATE WiFi and The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) co-hosted the monthly ID Theft Twitter Chat. The ITRC hosts these monthly events in an effort to engage consumers in discussion about the issues surrounding identity theft. As the ITRC believes that cyber security is an important part of protecting from identity theft, the issue of public WiFi is of of utmost importance. Many of the participants felt as strongly about the risks of WiFi usage and there was a lot of great input.

Joining the chat, among others, were Stop.Think.Connect., Clarity for Consumers, CSID and Experian. It was an excellent forum for companies and consumers to discuss WiFi vulnerabilities. Besides tweeting about loads of information on how we can best help the public protect themselves from identity theft while using WiFi, we learned some very interesting WiFi names. Stop.Think.Connect told us that the funniest name they had seen was “Not Your Internet,” while another favorite was “FBI Surveillance.” We hope all of those who participated in the event learned something and will continue to spread the word about staying safe in WiFi.

As with all ID Theft Chats, the questions for discussion were posted prior to the event and these particular questions led to some very insightful sharing of resources and ideas. The first question we asked participants was if they used public WiFi. We wanted to know how often people used this technology and how they used it. This kind of information is always helpful to those of us trying to protect consumers because from it we are able to determine how to make our efforts most effective. Responses to this question ranged from those of us who could not go a minute without WiFi to some who used it sparingly.

From asking our second question, we found that not everyone knew that WiFi was not secure. We were able to provide those people with information to educate them. We asked if anyone had heard of identity theft happening due to use of public WiFi and were weren’t surprised to hear that someone’s friend had used the WiFi in an airport in Ecuador only to arrive home to credit card fraud. In wrapping up the chat we asked what people were doing to stay safe on WiFi and were excited to hear that many of the participants were using a VPN like PRIVATE WiFi and taking others measures to protect themselves.

The next ID Theft Twitter Chat, on June 6th at 2PM EST/11AM PST, will be about the topic of small business. We will be discussing how small businesses can protect the personal information of their customers and employees, as well as how they can protect their digital reputation. You can follow along with @ITRCSD by using the hashtag #IDTheftChat. We hope to see you there and thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s ID Theft Chat!

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Nikki Junker

Nikki Junker is Social Media Coordinator and Victim Advisor at The Identity Theft Resource Center. She specializes in Identity Theft on social networks and smartphones. She enjoys working one on one with victims of identity theft as well as researching and writing about preventative measures for consumers.