Internet users warned of security maintenance when using public Wi-Fi

Using free Wi-Fi in public places to transfer money or pay bills online is quite convenient, yet possesses certain dangers for information security.


Cyber security experts have warned of an extremely high risk of information leak when Internet users transfer money and pay bills via free Wi-Fi in public locations like coffee shops, hotels, and airports.

Many hackers usually take advantage of these connections to gain control over the visitor’s smart device in order to insert malicious codes to exploit security vulnerabilities. Also, it is not hard these days to establish a fake Wi-Fi access point, where hackers can easily steal sensitive information, mostly through what is called the Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) technique.

As a result, several smart device owners then discover that their bank account or confidential information have been stolen.

Take the case of V.N.T. in District 12 of HCMC as an example. She is used to surfing the Internet and shopping online via free Wi-Fi in public places. After each access, she often receives a large number of marketing messages or loan offers from fake financial organizations or banks. She was once asked to authenticate an online transaction she had not made. When doing careful research for the reason to have so many spams like this, she understood that ill-intended people have stolen her information to send those dangerous links with the aim of appropriating property.

Information Security Director of Verichains Cybersecurity Mai Trung Dung stressed that despite the convenience of free Wi-Fi in public locations, these connections do have certain risks of information security.

Fortinet’s cyber security experts also mentioned information unsafety when shopping online through a connection using free Wi-Fi offered in public places, being one of the three most infamous ways to steal sensitive information besides fake e-commerce websites and software pieces to steal information on credit cards.

“To minimize the risks when connecting to the Internet via a free Wi-Fi in public locations, people can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt transmitted data, protecting personal information from eavesdropping. This connection should only be used to read news. It is wiser to connect through the Mobile Data method when there is a transaction need. In addition, credit organizations and banks must warn their clients against choosing the former connection method for online transaction conducting”, said Director Dung.

Other news