Beware the pitfalls of public Wi-Fi

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Ever notice how many people walk down the street completely engrossed in their smart phones and tablets? I fully expect to see one of them walk into a light post one day.
Although it’s great having access to email, social networking and online shopping anywhere, anytime, such convenience comes with a certain amount of risk, according to Jennifer Fischer, Head of Americas Payment System Security, Visa Inc.
“Unless you’re hyper-vigilant about using secure networks and hack-proof passwords, someone sitting at the next table — or halfway around the world — could be watching your every move online and stealing valuable personal and financial information right off your device,” Fischer said.
“There are two primary potential dangers with Wi-Fi,” Fischer said. “The first is using an unsecured network — as many public hotspots are. With a little know-how and the right tools, cybercriminals could easily eavesdrop on your online activity.
“The second hazard is phony wireless networks that impersonate legitimate Wi-Fi hot spots. You think you’re logged onto a trusted network, but instead a cybercriminal has hijacked your session and can see all the private information you access or input.”
When using public Wi-Fi networks, always follow these safety precautions:

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