When away on travel for either business or pleasure, there is no greater treasure than a free Wi-Fi hot spot. However, be warned that in recent years there’s been an increasing number of cases wherein these blessed havens are used to steal people’s personal information! People traveling abroad are said to be at an even greater risk for damage caused by suspicious Wi-Fi providers.

According to senior manager of the computer protection company, Symantic’s Norton branch, Mr. Yoshida, “When you connect to unprotected Wi-Fi alongside an ill-intentioned user, every one of your internet transmissions is at risk of being seen. Using some very simple tools any user accessing free Wi-Fi from the same point as you is capable of intercepting all of the data you submit. Stolen information could include all manner of login IDs and passwords and is a real cause for concern.

Imagine using a tainted Wi-Fi spot to perform your internet banking. If that information were stolen, it would put you and your funds at huge risk!

When traveling abroad, the large number of Wi-Fi access points appearing within range can be greatly confusing, and the number of users who have hold control over crooked hot-spots can be great. As a safety precaution, it’s good to double and triple check the name of the network that you’re connecting to and avoid any network that you’re not closely familiar with.

If you willy-nilly connect to any available wireless network without first verifying the network name, you put yourself at a much higher risk of falling prey to villainous users.

Of course, not every free Wi-Fi spot is a danger to your private information. Japan considers itself relatively secure, thanks to the large number of Wi-Fi spots set up by major telecommunication companies, not that this is any excuse to become negligent.

There are a couple extra measures that people can take to protect their transmissions. The first is to buy or rent a mobile router, giving your computer the same 3G internet access that’s used by modern cell phones. Alternatively, some world markets provide protection software programmed specifically to make it difficult for other Wi-Fi users to intercept your data.

Lately, there’s a large variety of Wi-Fi router rental services springing up world-wide. The cost averages at around 1,000 yen (US$10) per day, which may seem a little steep until you liken it to the price of wired Internet at some hotels. For the sake of secure Wi-Fi wherever you go, sounds worth it!

Crimes using free Wi-Fi spots can be carried out quickly and without any immediate trace, leaving the victims dangerously unaware that their personal information has been stolen until it’s much too late. Please be smart and use caution when connecting to the wireless Web. We’d much rather you skip a day of reading RocketNews24 than risk debilitating identity theft. We promise that we’ll still be here once you’ve found a safe connection.

Source:Web R25 via Yahoo! Japan News