If you’ve been following the blog here, you’ve probably seen all of our warnings on how dangerous and unprotected public Wi-Fi is. Many people use public Wi-Fi since it’s becoming so accessible, but they don’t realize what they are getting into. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the laundromat, Starbucks, Mcdonald’s, or even an airplane — public Wi-Fi simply isn’t safe. Steven Petrow, a tech journalist, writing about Apple encryption, found that out the hard way when his laptop got hacked while using Gogo in-flight internet connection. (Frankly, we are a little surprised that a USA today tech journalist is just now learning about VPN security benefits.)
Steven Petrow was using the in-flight public Wi-Fi to write his article and answer emails when a passenger in the row behind him approached him. This passenger informed Steven that he had“ hacked [into his[ email on the plane and read everything [he] sent and received. I did it to most people on the flight.” After explaining what he had done, the passenger explained that if Steven had been accessing his financial records, legal documents or Facebook–he would have access to that too.
The hacker seemed to have a purpose in this case–it wasn’t just to snoop or steal information, it was to show Steven–and perhaps everyone who would read his report on the issue, that privacy isn’t just a concern for activists, journalists, or CEO’s. Privacy is in fact, a concern of everyone that has information that they want to be kept private.
Public Wi-Fi is just one example of a dangerous vessel for unprotected private information, but if the authorities force Apple to weaken its security, it could be dangerous for everyone who cares about privacy. We cannot let that happen!
The right to privacy should be in your hands, your control, and in your power. However, besides supporting Apple in their recent battle for privacy, there are other options you can take to secure your own privacy and internet connection when connected to public WiFi.
Using a VPN with your internet connection is critical to protect your IP address and sensitive information. If you’re on public Wi-Fi, it IS mandatory. TorGuard VPN service is a great VPN for public and private Wi-Fi since it works great with any laptop, smartphone, or tablet–with plenty of browser extensions and mobile applications that are easy to use. Next time you find yourself accessing in flight WiFi, don’t risk your privacy. Turn on TorGuard VPN!