Bad Connection: Is your Wi-Fi network safe? - - Jackson, MS

Bad Connection: Is your Wi-Fi network safe?

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

When it comes to your personal information, it could be in danger if you do online transactions in public places.

Often Wi-Fi networks can entice people with free, fast internet, but what are the risks?

Whether you used your phone or laptop, there is a good chance you've connected to an open Wi-Fi network in recent months.  

It's a great way to cut down on data usage, but hackers know this and often troll those networks, looking for unsuspecting victims.

"Open Wi-Fi is always open to the public, the fire walls, all traffic is flowing both ways," said IT expert, Carzel Frazier. 

Passwords, your address and financial information could all be compromised if hackers are on the same network and scanning your browsing history.  

If they intercept any of this information, they can drain bank accounts or charge items to credit cards, leaving the real owners helpless.

"Other people can monitor this network and see what you are doing," said Frazier. "So, if people can see what you're doing, they are capable of seeing history or places you've been and what you've been doing."

In Jackson, we've found several Wi-Fi networks available, some of them unsecured.  

Experts say this is where hackers could be lurking.

"If you go to your banking and put in your user name or password, they'll be able to have your user name and password, if you use your pin number, if you're doing online transactions, if you're shopping, anything like that, credit card info, expiration, your security code on the back of your credit card," said Frazier. "All that will be available to whomever."

Experts say the best way to protect your personal information is to avoid connecting to any "open" Wi-Fi networks.  

Wi-Fi networks that have passwords are much better and make it harder for hackers to infiltrate.

"That way you always will have a first line of defense against people just openly being able to see what you are doing," Frazier says.

Once a hacker is in, any money they take could be gone forever, which is why it's always smart to play it safe when it comes to Wi-Fi networks.

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