Security warning for Wi-Fi users and how you can protect your data

If you use Wi-Fi, pay close attention to this story.  What was thought to be the most secure Wi-Fi has been hacked, leaving anyone who uses it at risk.

WPA2 is “the standard that almost every Wi-Fi uses that’s considered the most safe and most secure.  This morning, it was breached and (it’s) essentially worthless,” Alan Crowetz, our security expert, who also owns West Palm Beach Info Stream Inc., a company that helps with IT for local small and medium sized businesses.

So who’s at risk here?

“Everybody,” he says. “As of (Monday) morning, there was a big blow up in the security world.”

The hack has infiltrated handshaking or the process a device goes through connecting to wireless internet. Basically, the hackers pretend to be you.

“They can see the data flowing between you and the other person. More dangerously…they can insert code, so hypothetically, they can insert viruses that look like they’re coming from the site your visiting,” he explained.

Even before this hack, if you use public Wi-Fi’s at a coffee shop, for example, don’t, Crowetz says.

“You’re always at risk on the Wi-Fi, so now you’re at risk even more so,” he says.

But the really concerning part is the Wi-Fi you have on right now in your home, is potentially compromised. 

“Doesn’t matter how secure and safe you are, if they get on your network, they’re on your network,” he says.

But there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

“All the vendors are packing over this, they’re releasing updates, very, very rapidly,” he says.

How do you make sure you get the patch?  Call the vendor. They can walk you through the short process.

VPN’s or a virtual private network also help. And hardwiring your computer is always safer.

Crowetz also says consider using your cell phone and its data when doing banking or anything that involves sensitive material. Chances are your phone company will have better security than the Wi-Fi host, he says.

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