Personal Cyber Security Threats

The dangers of public Wi-Fi

The dangers of public Wi-Fi

By John Riley PCCS Cyber Intel Analyst June 10, 2014

Meeting friends at the corner coffee shop can be a lot of fun, but it could lead to the theft of your digital identity.  Picture the coffee shop with couches covered by hipsters sipping coffee and surfing the Internet on laptops with brightly lit Apple logos connected to the shop’s public Wi-Fi.   The use of Wi-Fi has changed our lives as a fast and convenient way to access the Internet while we are out and about but that convenience comes with a serious risk.

Hackers use a technique on public Wi-Fi called a man in the middle attack to steal passwords and monitor your unprotected Internet traffic.  This man in the middle technique is relatively easy and can be pulled off with tools available on the Internet.  It doesn’t take a sophisticated computer security expert to perpetrate this type of cyber-attack, it could be the guy with the beard on the couch in the corner.  Recently there have been a couple examples in the news: 


how traffic is diverted to a hackers laptop


Coffee junkies fret not, a solution exists so that you don’t have to give up using public Wi-Fi to ensure your privacy and protect your digital identity.  How would those hipsters find the newest thrift store or download the latest indie music no one has heard of without Wi-Fi? Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates an encrypted shield around your Internet traffic, preventing hackers from finding out your latest indie music picks or stealing your Facebook and banking passwords.

At Private Client Cyber Security, we equip our clients with a secure VPN on their computers, tablets and phones so that when they are traveling they don’t have to compromise privacy and security for the convenience of public Wi-Fi.  This solution when used properly can prevent a man in the middle attack from stealing your digital identity.  Now all you have to worry about is not spilling that cup of java on your keyboard.  


 John Riley is the Director of Cyber Intelligence at Private Client Cyber Security and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About Private Client Cyber Security

Former U.S. defense industry cybersecurity executives founded PCCS after struggling to convince large cybersecurity companies to address the cyber risks of public persons and small sized business. 

PCCS provides enterprise-grade cybersecurity consulting and services to professional practices, executives, athletes, and high net worth families.

We strive to provide a personal, professional and a next-generation technology level of cyber protection to our clients. 


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