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Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

I went down to the local hospital this morning and intended to download The Times before I left so I could read it while waiting - but I forgot - so being a mean so and so and being on a O2 PAYG tariff (4G was available) - I thought I would see if there was a wireless hot spot I could jump onto

The hospital wifi was there but I couldn't remember the login. However there was another wifi signal so I clicked on it and to my surprise it was unprotected so I connected immediately

OK I only downloaded a few MB so no real problem but that led me to think

Are there any routers where the wifi is unprotected by default or is it something the user needs to actively change

7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

I rarely use the WiFi on my old plusnet Thomson TG585 v8 but when I do turn on the WiFi (via the web page) the encryption default is - Disabled with the two alternative selections of - Use WEP Encryption - Use WPA-PSK Encryption underneath.

And yes sometimes I forget to select Use WPA-PSK Encryption.

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
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Re: Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

Sure i read somewhere tha Virgin Media routers   allow free hotspots ? so you can stand outside a house that has a Virgin Super hub Cheesy

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Community Veteran
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Re: Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

Oooh better check mine, I am on VM just because Fibre wasn't available in my area 6 years when I moved in but is now.

I can't remember where I read this, and I am not sure if this is true or not, but don't BT and PlusNet routers allow people to use people's internet connection as hotspots (is it called Fon?).

Funny really, if you do it for free then that is wrong, but to pay a company to do exactly the same thing is fine Roll eyes

Community Veteran
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Re: Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

Steer clear of unsecure WiFi.  It is sometimes used by hackers to trap the unwary. It is easily possible to record the traffic and fish out personal data at a later date.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

True, though possible I think but unlikely. But you never know.

I suppose you just have to be selective on what sites you browse, anything requiring input from the user, such as username/password, any personal information which could potentially be captured.

Also I don't know where I read this, and if it is true, but hackers capture your username/password for one site and user it for (common) others on the assumption your use the same username/password on multiple sites - which I guess many of us do.

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
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Re: Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

https://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2017/04/virgin-media-wifi-public-hotspots/

found this one

 

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DaveyH
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Re: Unsecure wifi - I was surprised

BT and Virgin's 'hotspots' aren't unsecure like a open network though.

 

You should at the very least use a VPN if you use public/open WiFi networks though