Computer technician warns against public Wi-Fi - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Computer technician warns against public Wi-Fi

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When you connect to free or public wireless internet, you may be putting your personal information at risk. Adam O'Neill owns Vital PC in Dubuque. He has been working with computers for 20 years.

"There is a lot of stuff that has been going on with wireless networking and that opens up a whole new level of issues," O'Neill said Thursday.

O'Neill said when you connect a device to wireless internet in a public setting that is not password protected, virtually everyone has access to your information. He said even if the public wireless connection is password protected, it is still possible for hackers to get around the password.

"It's a very possible threat, it's encountered everyday. So I mean if you go into a public place and log onto their internet, I wouldn't go on your banking, your Facebook, any of your accounts really," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said people are also able to create public wireless networks that mimic other wireless networks that are already in place. For example, a hacker may create an open wireless network called "Free internet" at a business, even though the business already has one in place. He said people can mistakenly connect to that wireless connect and all their information will be available for to the hacker.

In order to protect yourself and your identity O'Neill recommends only doing general browsing on public internet. He said save banking and logging on to Facebook for when you are at home.

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