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Security experts warn of Wi-Fi dangers at malls and airports during holidays

Posted at 3:32 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 19:24:47-05

Don't let turkey, traveling, and Black Friday shopping distract you from protecting your personal information.

It's Thanksgiving week and that means one thing: people are distracted.

Traveling, turkey and tackling Black Friday may put protecting your personal information on the back burner, but experts are warning you about the dangers of logging onto public Wi-Fi.

"It's the ripe time to slip something else in there with all the bells and whistles and take advantage," said Alan Crowetz, WPTV Internet and Security expert.

If you're like most people, your smartphone helps you pass time at any airport, especially during the busy holiday travel rush.

But Crowetz said be careful when using public Wi-Fi at malls, stores, airports, even some hotels.

He said the bad guys know you're distracted and traveling to unfamiliar towns or places, and they're even aware that you're likely trying to take advantage of Black Friday online sales while sitting at airports.

Crowetz said if you have to use it for benign tasks like directions or finding a restaurant, that's OK.

"Don’t use public Wi-Fi for any kind of financial transactions, anything that involves a password, any kind of secure email," he said. "Don’t use public Wi-Fi. Go find a safer spot."

So what can you do? Crowetz said use a personal hot spot, and if you can't do that just wait until you get to a more secure location.