Online Security Issues with Home and Public Wireless Networks

ANITHA on September 02, 2009

A federal investigation in Tennessee has revealed the ease at which a home WiFi network can be hacked. A resident from Clarksville, Tennessee has received and attempted to distribute more than 1,700 images of child pornography through the unsecured wireless network of another Clarksville resident.

Reading this story makes us wonder how safe our home wireless networks are. A news release from the Middle Tennessee district US Attorney’s office said “The fact Olivas (the accused) was using a third party’s unsecured wireless access point to download images of children being victimized highlights the danger to citizens of failing to secure their wireless networks”. With an open wireless network, it is not only easy for anybody to hack into the network, but they can access confidential information on home computers if they are not secure.

Another way for hackers to get our confidential information is when we use our mobile devices like laptops, netbooks or smartphones in public WiFi hotspots. Most of the publicly available WiFi spots like libraries do not have secure wireless connections. If we use these connections and access our personal information like bank accounts from our personal devices, hackers can break into the communication path and get our confidential information.

Services like Mobicip www.mobicip.com prevents such intrusion on mobile devices in WiFi hotspots. Through their inherently-built secure channels, they create a secure tunnel which makes our communications safe even with unsecured websites. Mobicip services are currently available for iPhone, iPod Touch and Netbooks.