Hyderabad: From the days of having to reluctantly ask for Wi-Fi passwords and being stingy about mobile data, connectivity to the web is a breeze these days, especially with free Wi-Fi almost everywhere.
But what comes free brings with it risks too. The increasing number of personal information/data theft cases has prompted the police to ask the public to be wary of free Wi-Fi connections/hotspots, since there are high chances of cyber fraudsters gaining access to the personal data present on their devices, whether it is a mobile phone or a laptop.
The Cyberabad Cybercrime police have warned that regardless of the connection type, one should always use public Wi-Fi with caution. They urged citizens not to use Wi-Fi in public places, particularly for banking purposes. Whenever a person connects to a local Wifi network, the data in their mobile phones and other gadgets are shared or copied to the server and there is a high possibility of it being breached.
“Whenever we accept the terms and conditions during signing into a free Wi-Fi network, the data is copied to the server. It is very unsafe to access your personal bank accounts or sensitive personal data on unsecured public networks. Even secured networks can be risky too. Be very cautious, in case you need to access these accounts on public Wi-Fi,” an official said, adding that in emergencies, when one is unable to connect to a secured network, using an unsecured network would be safer if the connection requires some sort of login or registration.
Cyber experts said leaving the laptop or smart phone unattended for a long time in a public place too can be dangerous as someone could steal data.
Officials said online shopping using public Wi-Fi requires personal information and that could include bank account and retailer login credentials. Switching off automatic connectivity option on your gadgets while travelling is also important as they allow you to connect from one hotspot to the next. These settings need to be kept off.
Bluetooth connectivity in public places also can pose huge risk as hackers can look for open Bluetooth signals to gain access to your device. The Cyberabad Cybercrime police urged citizens to be alert and to approach the police without delay in case of money fraudulently being withdrawn from bank accounts.
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