Recently, England’s premier soccer players were warned not to use public WiFi when they travel to Russia to participate in the World Cup in 2018. According to BBC Sports, the team fears that hackers can easily intercept leaks about the team, as well as personal player information, should they login to unsecured WiFi.
Team officials fear that sensitive information, such as injuries, tactical plans, and other secret information might be compromised if hackers are able to access the same WiFi network that the player’s use to login using their phones, tablet, and computers.
The England team is making sure every player knows of their responsibilities and put an action plan in place when the team travels to Russia in two years.
Why they are right to be worried
Last month, a hacking organization named Fancy Bears released information that 160 soccer players failed drug test back in 2015. It has also released additional confidential information about dozens of soccer players. While it’s unclear how they got this information, it’s easy to see how players or officials using public WiFi could unknowingly transfer this information to anyone else using the same unprotected WiFi network.
It’s not just athletes and sporting officials that are ignorant of the inherent security flaws of public WiFi. Indeed, according to MacAfee’s chief scientist, more than half of all Brits (55%) don’t know how to tell if the WiFi network they’re connected to is secure. With so many people unaware of the dangers they face, it’s open season for hackers.
The simple truth about public WiFi
Here’s what everyone should know: the simple truth is that public WiFi is completely unsecure. And worse, it’s incredibly easy to hack a WiFi network and steal everything that is being transmitted over that network, including your website passwords, your credit card information, and your private information.
WiFi data is just like radio waves, so anyone with the right equipment can “listen” to them. And it doesn’t take an expert to do this. Anyone with the right equipment can steal your data, right out of thin air.
Protect yourself: use a VPN
While it’s good that English soccer players are becoming more aware of why public WiFi is so dangerous and taking steps to protect themselves, they should also be aware of the simple solution to unsecured networks: use a VPN.
A VPN like Private WiFi is all you or the highest profile soccer player in the world needs to completely protect yourself while on public WiFi. Best of all, you can use it on all your devices: laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
It is true that you’re not as famous as World Cup players, but we bet that you have all kinds of personal and private information you don’t want getting into the hands of hackers who can steal your identity and run up thousands of charges on your credit card.
So score one for Internet security by always protecting yourself on public WiFi by using a VPN.