Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.


Check here if you're human


6 Ways You Are Vulnerable On Wi-Fi

Pin It

Whether you are on your home or office network or seeking out a free connection on public Wi-Fi, there are known risks that can be managed simply by using a free VPN.

#1. Outdated operating system-critical security patches. When an operating system is released, it often is secure—or at least as it can be for the moment. But once good-guy and bad-guy hackers take a look at it en masse, they discover vulnerabilities. When on an unprotected network, criminals can use software programs that search out vulnerabilities from outdated, unpatched software on your devices; once found, they use whatever tools are available to take advantage of those vulnerabilities and dig deeper into your devices.

#2. Unsecured wireless. Unencrypted Wi-Fi networks at home or in the office, or on the road at coffee shops, airports and hotels, are vulnerable to sniffers. Sniffers read the wireless data as it travels through the air and converts it so other computers (and those who administer them) can read it in words, numbers and computer code.

#3. Poorly secured wireless. Protected Wi-Fi that employs WEP, or Wired Equivalent Privacy, is vulnerable. WEP, introduced in 1997, is the original version of wireless network security. Over the past decade and a half, however, WEP has been cracked, hacked and decimated.

#4. Sharing network passphrases. You might share a wireless connection with people you trust. Perhaps you have roommates, or you live in a condo or apartment and like your neighbor so much that you give her your passphrase so she can hop on your wireless internet. But by doing this—and no matter how nice your network-sharing friends may be—you are letting other devices scoot by the encryption your router employs.

#5. Hijacked cookies.Session hijacking is when you log onto a website and your login data is stored via a cookie—a small bit of code that lets the website know you are logged in. If HTTPS isn’t used and these cookies aren’t encrypted—which, often, they are not—an attacker can copy that cookie onto his or her device and surf on that device just as though it were yours. You’ve been hijacked!

#6. Man-in-the-middle attack. When you are on an unprotected network and another device intercepts or eavesdrops on your internet communications, then communicates with the designated website acting as though it is you, the other device communicates with the website—and the website has no idea it is communicating with an attacker.

The easiest way to avoid all this drama is by protecting your devices’ wireless communications witha free VPN likeHotspot Shield. Hotspot Shield VPN protects your entire web surfing session, enables private browsing while securing your connection at both your home internet network and publicInternetnetworks.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft expert consultant to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning AmericaDisclosures.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • Unsecured wireless video baby monitors hackable
    Baby monitors have evolved from simple one-way radio communications based on older radio waves to highly evolved IP based, internet-connected cameras that can be viewed on a smartphone or tablet. Back in the day, when cordless phones were 900 MHZ, it was common to hear someone else’s conversations on your own phone or easy enough
  • Crack Your WiFi Password To Protect Yourself
    Ever wanted to be a hacker? Today, anyone can learn code and understand the ins and outs of all the technology we are simultaneously blessed and cursed with. But once you know how all this technology works to the point of calling yourself a hacker (which, by the way, isn’t necessarily a bad word), then
  • 4 Ways to Share Paid Hotspots
    There are a number of scenarios you might be in where friends, family and colleagues need to jump on a (read: your) wireless connection, but they’d rather not pay a connection fee. So if you have the goods right in front of you and they can connect for free, they may buy you a cookie.
  • Stop, Think and Connect on Public Wi-Fi
    OnGuardOnline.gov, co-managed by the Federal Trade Commission, is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online.OnGuardOnline.gov is a partner in the Stop Think Connect campaign, led by the Department of Homeland Security, and part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Vulnerabilities I,
  • What’s a Wireless “Sniffer” and Why Should I Care?
    A sniffer is a software program used by IT administrators to monitor network usage, investigate network problems, investigate network misuse and abuse, identify configuration issues and determine the state of a network’s security. Sniffers ultimately decode the data so it is readable in words, numbers and computer code. Note that last part: “determine the state of a network’s

2 Responses to “6 Ways You Are Vulnerable On Wi-Fi”

[…] Whether you are on your home or office network or seeking out a free connection on public Wi-Fi, there are known risks that can be managed simply by using a free VPN. http://robertsiciliano.com/blog/2013/02/21/6-ways-you-are-vulnerable-on-wi-fi/ […]

Good Article.

I must say that I am overall satisfied with Hotspot Shield VPN. It is a cool application that let me surf internet freely at Wifi hotspots either with my Laptop or mobile device. Have been using this VPN for some time now and never face any problem in using it. It also worked well while i travel and helps me to stay in touch with my favorite websites. Overall a great product!!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category