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Rogue WIFI hotspots can be a challenge
India offers two types of WIFI access free metered access which requires the users to register and second are those hot-spots which do not have any password.
By: Microworld Technologies Inc
Some of these are Government initiatives like the one in Mumbai is "Aaple_Sarkar_
The common factors are :
1: These services require registration and authentication
2: Located at Public Places.
Providing Free WIFI has been the best move by the Government for this social networking crazed generation, which has been using it for accessing Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp etc However, it shouldn't take a long time for the cybercriminals to realize the huge potential of gaining access to the network traffic by implementing Rogue WIFI hotspots.
Rogue WIFI Hotspots could be turned into surveillance systems and could also be used to inject malicious / advertisements into the network traffic. It's not just the researchers who have demonstrated but Organizations too have injected traffic into the network in the past and what would stop the criminals from using the same technology to monetize this craze of accessing Free WIFI.
Privacy concerns are raised by the elite few while most of the others turn a blind eye as long as they don't have to pay a dime for Internet Access and has been aptly proved by the 4G boom with the free offerings by all the Telcos, and ultimately resulted in market consolidation vis-a-vis data pricing.
In these trying times when every bit of data can help build up your personal profile, it would pay in the long run for everyone to exercise caution while accessing the Internet. Moreover, caution is just not limited to accessing the Internet but also the Apps and their system level permissions do play an important role in securing your privacy.
Rogue WIFIs are very difficult to detect since there is very little information that they leak and it is very much possible that SSID will be replicated by these criminals in order to lure unsuspecting victims into their trap. It is also very much probable that the Rogue WIFI wouldn't ask for registration/
How to user Free WIFI :
1: Implement VPN on your devices/laptops
2: Keep a separate Cell Number for accessing the WIFI as most of them rely on OTP sent as an SMS to the registered number. It should be different from the one used for Banking Transactions.
3: Verify the App Permissions before installing them on your device.
4: Never conduct banking transactions through Free WIFI, one may never know who is sniffing your traffic.
5: Always keep you Phone Antivirus updated to ensure maximum efficiency.
6: When in doubt about a particular SSID, do ask the owner of the shop who is providing this service and you may always choose to disconnect immediately.
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