Portal Home > Knowledgebase > Online Security: General Questions > Is it safe to use hotspots or unprotected Wi-Fi networks? How can somebody eavesdrop on my wireless Internet when I use a public wireless Hotspot?
Typically, a wireless connection between your laptop computer or your mobile device and a public hotspot Wireless Access Point (WPA), such as those found in airports, hotels, schools, fast food restaurants and coffee shops, etc., are not encrypted. The connection on a public WPA is not encryption enabled, as they are a free access service, and the establishment offering the free service wants to ensure trouble-free and cheap connections for all their customers. These connections are high risk.
This means anyone’s computer equipped with a wireless modem (and with the appropriate software) in your vicinity can eavesdrop on your wireless connection. They can see what you are doing online, gain access to your personal accounts, intercept your personal data and communications, get access to your online banking and even leave Trojans on your computer/smartphone to hack you later when you are surfing on a normal cable or ADSL.
Hard to believe? Please see the recent article about Google inappropriately obtaining credit card and online banking information from HotSpotshere.
Is the information incorrect or does it contradict what we say somewhere else at the site? These FAQs are a work in progress and unfortunately as a result our product updates and network changes we can't always get it right instantly in all the FAQs. Please let us know if you see something incorrect and we'll do everything we can to straighten out the misleading bits and pieces! None of these FAQs answer your question? Search our Knowledgebase or Ask Support.
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