17 Feb

Unsecured & Everyone Knows

Take a moment and ask yourself, should I be on this wireless network?

There are some scary truths to being connected to an unsecured wireless network.  Since you are probably wondering the answer, we should begin with what is the difference between secured and unsecured?  Secured wireless networks would be considered your home or workplace – areas that you know have the proper web intrusion hardware and software operating that will block unwanted requests and protect your data.  Unsecured wireless networks are everywhere.  They are in restaurants, airports, hotels – basically most of the places that we travel.   These unsecured networks will allow your device to be probed.  Unsecured wireless networks are the most likely place that people are trolling for quick information about your passwords, emails, chat information, twitter data, Facebook posts, anything you use the device to access.  The statistics for 2016 are:  95.6% of Americans have used public access wireless and 62% of those people have been targeted for attack.  The attackers are after anything that would either be used to access accounts or as we have witnessed over the past several months, data that could become harmful to your life.  Secure pictures, email data, banking information, anything that would make the intruders money.

Another large part of the problem is that the attackers know only 20% of mobile devices have any level of security on the device.  This is a reality check for everyone, including those of us who live in the technology world.  The cellular carriers have little or no security and hold themselves harmless of any intrusion, thus it falls in your lap and it’s your problem to clean up.

Here are a few suggestions that may help you avoid being the next cybercrime victim:

  • When using unsecured wireless networks avoid company data usage, banking, social media and personal email accounts.
  • Purchase and install a mobile malware/antivirus product (keep it up to date). Here are a few to consider: SOTI MobiControl, Citrix XenMobile, or VMware AirWatch.
  • Add a minimum level of encryption to your mobile device, a password or required access code.
  • The best formula is to stay off unsecured wireless networks if at all possible.

If you think, “this won’t happen to me”, here is the reality of the situation.  In 2016 over one billion devices were susceptible to the Stagefright malware outbreak.  In terms of how we think, this would be considered a pandemic in the IT world.  The threat is very real and can affect your entire household since most of our homes are becoming increasingly connected through mobile APPS and connected smart devices (i.e. TV, thermostat, etc.)

Today would be a good day to change your habits.  If you have any questions or would like more information, give us a call!