According to Mashable, using the free Wi-Fi in coffee shops such as Starbucks can make you more susceptible to hackers accessing your personal and financial information over the public network. ThreatMetrix, devoted to providing cybercriminal prevention solutions, warns that some hackers will purposely leave USB drives on the tables of these public venues in order to tempt customers into possibly plugging the device into their computers, giving hackers access to important information. These cybercriminals have even been found to use the video cameras in cell phones to tape customers’ computer activities.
BBB offers the following wireless safety advice:
- Connect securely – Never connect to an unfamiliar wireless network—even if the name sounds genuine.
- Disable automatic connections – Make sure that your computer and smartphone are not set up to automatically connect to any wireless networks within your range.
- Turn off file sharing when you are on the road to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive data from your computer or smartphone.
- Create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – A VPN establishes a private network across the public network which prevents a hacker from intercepting your data.
Mashable provides an infographic of things to look out for when using these public networks. For more information visit, http://mashable.com/2013/04/27/hacked-starbucks.