Whether it's from a hotel room or sitting outside Starbucks, public Wi-Fi is a convenient option when connecting to the internet. However, accessing these networks can put your most vital information at risk.
"It's pretty much like keeping all of your valuables in a vehicle, taking it to the worst part of town you can think of and not locking the doors" said PC Net Senior Shop Technician David May.
According to May, roughly 70% of the internet is infected with malware and spyware. Hackers and malicious softwares are working 24/7 to steal personal information. From passwords to bank accounts, important data on your laptop can be stolen in a matter of seconds.
"More or less, as far as user connection is concerned, you put yourself at risk the moment you join that network" said May.
Experts recommend installing anti-virus software protection to minimize your chances of getting hacked. For those who need internet connection but refuse to use public Wi-Fi, personal hot-spot devices come in handy. Personal hot-spots create the users own private network that makes it harder for information to be compromised.
According to May, "it actually works pretty well. Some of our technicians use it for their personal usage when they are in areas where they can't get a connection or there may be a risk connecting their laptops they use for business" he said.
These hot-spot devices can be purchased at any network provider.
If by any chance your device has been hacked, experts urge users to take quick action by changing all passwords and canceling every single credit card. Users should also frequently check their laptops for viruses and always make sure the anti-virus software subscription is up to date.
Security experts say 38% of all credit card fraud involves hotel Wi-Fi's.
PC Net is located at 915 9th Street in Wichita Falls and can be reached at (940) 322-9990. You can also log onto their website at www.wfpcnet.com .