They can be found in restaurants, airports, coffee shops, bookstores, hotels, libraries and just about any place that the public gathers.They are often unsecured so anyone in range can use them.At home, we can use our laptops to access the internet from any room in the house or we can go to coffee shops or fast food restaurants and surf the net. However, the dangers are real and your important information is put at risk if you connect over an unsecured network.But have you ever stopped to think about the information on your computer or the information you are sending over the unsecured network or “hotspot? Anything sent in an email or saved on your computer could be at risk.The next several paragraphs describe the types of networks that are unsecured and the risks associated with using those unsecured wireless networks. A wireless network is “unsecured” if you can access the internet using the network without entering a password or network key.For example, a “hotspot” is a wireless network that is open and available for the public to use.In some cases like at hotels or even universities, the networks are “secured” because they require a network key.
is an education consultant specializing in educational technology.We have all seen examples of children’s social media or email accounts being compromised and inappropriate material is posted in their name.An unsecured wireless account puts your child’s passwords and personal information out for anyone to see.She is a member of the Wasatch Branch of the American Association of University Women and serves on the advisory board of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition.We have come to expect to have wireless internet access just about everywhere we go.
It is very convenient to use the internet in coffee shops or the library but it is important to do so with care.