How Dangerous Are Unsecured Internet Connections

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Do you use the laptop to check your email? Do you shop online using your laptop? Have you ever filled out an online application of any sort? Keep in mind the computer stores all the information, even if you have deleted it. Before taking the laptop to your favorite coffee shop, park or library carefully consider the dangers you expose yourself to. Is the half an hour or an hour of unsafe internet use worth it? The benefits are short term, but the troubles maybe expensive, long term, and numerous.
Wireless network is a set of devices that enables all different computers on the location to use an internet connection simultaneously. Wireless networks use radio waves also known as Wi-Fi for connectivity. The wireless network card installed in the computer picks up the wireless network signal and establishes the connection with internet service provider (ISP). From here arise several problems.
The first problem is radio signal, or Wi-Fi itself can be “picked up” and your laptop invaded by certain programs running on your “neighbor’s” computer. The second problem is when you’re in a coffee shop (or some other hotspot), the coffee shop is your ISP, providing the connectivity, the routers and other equipment for everyone to use, has the ability to see everything you do. It comes with the territory that the coffee shop has the ability to monitor all traffic and users on the network. Unfortunately unethical employees have also the ability to go snooping on you.
Are you checking your email or browsing sites that require login information at the coffee shop? Sharing the internet connection with others you let your ISP and some clever neighbors see what you are browsing, and also your login and password. Any usernames and passwords you might enter are transmitted in the clear and are visible to anyone in rage who is willing to sniff your internet traffic.
What can you do to protect yourself? Use secure internet connection. Make sure your Firewall is on and functioning at all times. If you must connect via unsecured ISP use virtual private network (VPN) to access internet. You can obtain one through your employer or sign up for one privately.  Better safe than sorry.



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