Wireless internet connection at events has increasingly become a primary need for participants – due to preventing roaming costs or poor 3G data network coverage. So when people see an open WiFi hotspot, they connect to it without realizing the possible dangers.
Let’s have a look at the potential risks of connecting to an open WiFi network. From the participants and organizer point of view.
WiFi is nothing more than a data transmission system. Free and open WiFi is accessible to anyone, and yes, that means ANYONE. In theory all data transmitted through WiFi network can easily be intercepted by any computer user. And yes again, that means ANY user.
Correct! Keep in mind that the data you transmit through an open WiFi connection and network is most likely readable by others. It’s not secure ….. You’d better be aware that all critical services that requires authentication by password are a potential risk if they’re not running over a secured connection like SSL.
Ok, a little bit of tech talk here: data is sent over the internet in packages. Information, for example e-mail messages or login information, is constructed from several packages together. If you want to log in at your e-mail account over a non-secured connection, the data is transmitted in human readable format. So everyone who get’s the package on his computer is able to display that information and now possess your login credentials. With SSL, the packages of information are encrypted. If someone intercepts the information, they can’t do anything with it. Intercepting data is not an easy task to do, but you want to avoid the people who put effort in managing it…
As a visitor you should keep these things in mind:
As an organizer:
Data connection is becoming a primary need. And thus very interesting for people that have malicious intents. By providing a properly secured WiFi access to your visitors, you’ll serve them a lot. But be aware and be prepared!
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