Author: Jillian Ryan

In The News: How To Avoid Getting Hacked On Vacation

Over the July Fourth Holiday weekend more than 40 million Americans traveled. As the masses hit the road and connected to public WiFi hotspots across the country, PRIVATE WiFi CEO Kent Lawson made a number of press appearances to educate consumers on the dangers of hotspot hacking and what they can do to keep their data protected.

Appearing on more than 15 media outlet across the country, Lawson explained how public wireless connections are not secure, “Whether it’s paid or not, whether there’s a password involved or not, nearly all of them are completely unsecure. The reason that Wi-Fi hotspots put passwords on their Wi-Fi is not to protect the individual, but rather to limit usage.”

USA Today Magazine: Hotspot Users Need to Think Before They Connect

“More than 12,500,000 Americans were victims of identity fraud last year–one victim every three seconds.”

The above is the first of many startling facts presented by PRIVATE WiFi CEO Kent Lawson in a recent article, “There Is No Vacation from Cybercrime at WiFi Hotspots,” from the July, 2013 issue of USA Today Magazine. Featured in the Law & Justice section of the publication, the story discusses the varied vulnerabilities at many of the 825,000+ public hotspots worldwide and what users can do to ensure that their data is safe.

You can read a full copy in our press section here or you can check out these 10 highlights:

#Facebook Embraces the #Hashtag: 3 Tips to Protect Your #Privacy

A staple of social networks like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (to name just a few of the slew), the hashtag, denoted by the # symbol, is making waves on Facebook this week.
Turning topics and themes into clickable links on your News Feed or Timeline, hashtags allow for something that Facebook has never done before: making posts searchable. 

 So what does this mean for your privacy? Keep reading and follow our three tips that will ensure that hashtags don’t put you in the spotlight.

Take Our Mobile Device Survey

PRIVATE WiFi wants to know more about how you and other consumers access WiFi from their smartphones and tablets. The security of your mobile device is the topic of our new Mobile Device Survey, co-sponsored by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC).

Stop WiFi Snoopers with a VPN: PRIVATE WiFi on WPIX NY

As WPIX NY reporter James Ford explains, “Public WIFi is a great and helpful tool and coverage is expanding… but also expanding is its potential danger to you.”

Most people don’t realize that public WiFi are just radio waves, similar to the type that you can listen to in your car. And just as easy as it is to find your favorite station, a hacker can use public WiFi to listen in on you!

Read on to find out how you can use a VPN like PRIVATE WiFi to stop WiFi snoopers from spying on your data on public WiFi.

Hacked in the Subway: PRIVATE WiFi Featured on WNBC

“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.

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.”

The FBI and SOeC Endorse VPNs for Securing Mobile Devices

Securing Our eCity Foundation (SOeC), in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has developed a Public Service Announcement featuring five tips for keeping yourself safe on your mobile device.

In this PSA, airing on San Diego’s NBC 7, FBI Special Agent Darell Foxworth states, “Securing your mobile device is essential to keep your data out of the hands of crooks.”

Agent Foxworth provides the following steps for protected yourself:

  1. Lock your device with a passcode.
  2. When using public WiFi, limit using e-mail, social networking, shopping, and banking, unless you have a secure Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
  3. Keep your device up to date. When software patches are available, use them.
  4. Avoid questionable apps, and only download from trusted sources.
  5. Always back up your data.

25,000 Facebook Likes: Why Our Fans Like Us!

Last week, we celebrated a big milestone: the PRIVATE WiFi Facebook community grew beyond 25,000 Likes. Our fans have been extraordinary over the past few years; engaged, they care about WiFi privacy and security, as well as our VPN solution. We wanted to thank them and we did!

Asking the simple question, “What do you like about the PRIVATE WiFi page?” we encouraged our fans to share their responses with us. Then we selected 25 fans to win a free year of PRIVATE WiFi!

We got some incredible comments; so amazing that we just had to share them with all of you. 

Below are our 25 winners and their reasons for “liking” us. We hope that you will “Like” us, too!

Paying for “Free” Wireless With Your Data: Social WiFi

What happens when WiFi becomes socialized and companies start harnessing the power of social media to drive business? That is where, Purple WiFi enters the arena, and if the concept of “Social WiFi” makes you weary, you are on the right path. You end up paying for that “free” WiFi, with your most valuable asset: your data!

Raytheon’s Riot Knows Your Next Move… Before You Do: The Social Media Privacy Report

Location-based check-ins can be fun and engaging, but they are also dangerous. In the past, we have blogged about how and why plotting your whereabouts on a social network doesn’t  just mean a loss of privacy, but can also endanger your well being.

Making it even more risky is Raytheon’s Riot, a data-mining software that can track people on social media. Every time you check-in somewhere, post a tweet about where you are going or upload a photo of where you are, you’re creating a footprint of your everyday life. Eventually patterns begin to form and this is where Riot comes in to play.

And trust us: it is scary.

PRIVATE WiFi Launches Cutting-Edge Facebook Page to Bring Privacy Resource to the Social Network

Privacy is always an issue for the users of Facebook. Developing a first of its kind Facebook Page, PRIVATE WiFi is proud to launch its pioneering custom applications geared to better inform consumers about the dangers of public WiFi. Integrating the WordPress functionality of its private-i blog, the page is designed to give Facebook users a sense of community and engagement as they explore topics of privacy and identity theft.