Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Minimizing Wi-Fi Risks

Public relations people tend to spend a lot of time in the field, making presentations, meeting with clients and their stakeholders and setting up special events. Like all road warriors, PR professionals depend upon a wide range of high-tech tools. What I hadn’t been aware of until recently is the fact that your Wi-Fi can put your laptop — and your important data — at risk.

Consumerist recently featured an article recommending that you disable your Wi-Fi before you close the lid on your laptop … otherwise thieves using inexpensive Wi-Fi scanners can locate — and snatch — your computer. (Some laptops can take 30 minutes or more before going into “sleep” mode.)

One more word of warning — this time from Domenico Bettinelli’s Bettnet blog (via Neatorama). In airports that offer free Wi-Fi, before you connect, check out the options carefully.

“I was recently at New York’s JFK airport in the JetBlue terminal, where they have prominent signs offering free Wi-Fi, courtesy of the airline,” Bettinelli reports. “But when I went to connect, I noticed that several options were available including one labeled ‘default’ and another labeled ‘JetBlue free hotspot.’”

It turns out that the former was the real, free Wi-Fi and the latter was a trap designed to fool unsuspecting travelers into exposing their computers and data to hackers.

It’s good advice for PR pros — and indeed for anyone who travels for a living and relies on high-tech devices: Check before you connect. And be sure to disconnect when you’re done!

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home