Using WiFi Trumps Security for Consumers - Other News


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Using WiFi Trumps Security for Consumers

Using WiFi Trumps Security for Consumers

Using WiFi Trumps Security for Consumers
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Have you ever used free public WiFi when traveling or in the mall, just because it was quick and easy? Well, if you have according to a new survey by AARP, you’re not alone. But plugging in on public WiFi no matter where you are, may just put you on hackers’ radar, and jeopardize your personal information.

In the “Convenience versus Security,” report by the AARP Fraud Watch Network, 25% of people said that they log on to free public WiFi at least one a week, and sometimes more. And 27% have used it to do their banking during the past 90 days. Another 27% have used their credit cards in these spaces. “A free Wi-Fi network at an airport, hotel or coffee shop is convenient,” said Doug Shadel, a fraud expert and AARP Washington state director. “But without a secure network, Americans risk oversharing, leaving themselves vulnerable to attacks by con artists and hackers.”

To raise awareness about the downside of logging on to free public WiFi and how people can protect themselves, AARP is rolling out their “Watch Your Wi-Fi” campaign. In August they will begin providing people with access to free cyber security forums at their state offices across the U.S.

More high risk behaviors unveiled

While most of us lock our doors, according to this study 26% of people using smartphones don’t use passcodes to protect themselves and their data, and 61% can’t access their bank accounts online.
Of those who do at least some of their banking online, just about half have the same password that they did 90 days ago. AARP experts suggest changing your password every three months.
AARP also did a study on wireless and online safety, and just about 45% of people failed, with at least 40% unaware that certain behaviors could be trouble, including:

  • Using the same password on all or even some of the websites you use can be a set up for hacking, even if you use one that is a mix of numbers, symbols and letters.
  • Even if you’re not using the Internet in an area where a public Wi-Fi network is available, it’s a good idea to disable your wireless connection.
  • It is unsafe to use public WiFi to access websites containing personal and financial information, including banking and credit card sites, even if it’s secured by https.

How to thwart hackers

On “Watch Your Wi-Fi” you can find an article called “Four Things Never to Do on Public Wi-Fi” giving people tips and information, that can help them up their safety factor.
Did you know?

  • Con artists set up their own unsecured networks featuring names that might seem legitimate, but aren’t, with names similar to a legitimate coffee shop, hotel or other free Wi-Fi network.
  • Email, online banking and credit card sites should never be accessed via public Wi-Fi.
  • Taking charge of your WiFi settings by not letting your phone automatically connect to any WiFi in the area can protect your data.
  • Talking on your phone is great, but try not to surf sites that require your personal data, while you’re in unsecured public spaces.

The survey was conducted by Alan Newman Research between April 2 through April 11, 2015 via telephone, both land-line and cell. All respondents were 18 years or older and went online at least a few times during the month.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Add to Favorites:

Related News:

Keeping Your Identity Safe This Season
Keeping Your Identity Safe This Season

Posted: November 25, 2016

If you’re planning on doing the bulk of your holiday shopping online you’re not alone, according to a new study by New LifeLock, showing that a third of people are on point to do most or all of their shopping online. Continue reading

Apple Pay Comes to Amex Corporate Cards
Apple Pay Comes to Amex Corporate Cards

Posted: September 04, 2015

Corporate American Express cardholders can now use Apple Pay, so they can pay with purchases when they are on the go with their Apple devices, whether an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. This new option is only available for U.S. corporate… Continue reading

MasterPass Boosts Online and App Security
MasterPass Boosts Online and App Security

Posted: November 05, 2015

With data and cybersecurity on people’s minds more than ever, MasterCard has announced that Masterpass, its digital wallet, will be outfitted with MasterCard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) in order to make it totally tokenized. Continue reading

Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Introducing the New Citi Rewards+ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap
For Excellent, Good Credit
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
For Good/Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees
Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
For Fair/Bad Credit
You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!