Times have changed. Everything nowadays seems to be reliant on technology and the internet. Public Wifi has become more commonplace and maybe an utmost need more than a desire. However, the technology hasn’t just advanced for us; but also for the ones misusing it.
Just like everything else, the hacking tools have also reduced size and increased functionality. There are even plug-and-play hacking devices being used by hackers to destroy your reputation and steal your money. These devices are known as Pineapple Wifi Tools.
Just recently, the sitcom Silicon Valley highlighted these portable devices in one of its episodes from season 4. It showed how two techies are using a simple device to manipulate everyone’s data who is connected to the Wifi.
While the show may be fictional, the devices, unfortunately, are very real. We are highly prone to becoming a victim of these devices due to our need to connect with the internet all the time. Whether we’re shopping, having lunch, at school, or office, we need to know we have Wifi around us.
And that’s exactly how the hackers get to us. They lure us into their traps by offering us free Wifi publicly. They would offer it around populated shopping malls, cafes, and bus stops so we don’t get suspicious. As these kinds of places are pre-assumed to offer free Wifi, we don’t doubt even if there is something fishy.
We are using Public Wifi every day to upload pictures to Instagram, share our locations on Facebook, and even making transactions through PayPal. What we don’t realize is that accessing private data on public Wifi is the easiest way for hackers to steal our information.
It’s not even restricted to teens. Even many professionals decide to access sensitive emails, healthcare information, and even important official documents on their devices after connecting to a public Wifi. If not careful, any hacker can successfully steal all the sensitive information by manipulating your internet.
Pineapple Wifi tools work in the simplest way:
1. Just turn it on. 2. Place it in a populated area.
Once you connect to a Wifi being controlled by these Pineapple Wifi Tools, you will succumb to a Man-in-middle attack. In this attack, the hacker intercepts the connection between your device and the internet. After manipulating your connection, the hacker is able to land you on malicious sites, monitor and track your online activities, and even steal your information such as:
- Email address and passwords
- Websites you visit
- Your Credit Card information
- Your Healthcare and/or Banking details
- Share your screen
Yes, the technology has made it unbelievably easy for the hackers to use such devices and steal your information without you even knowing about it. These devices are available to buy at the lowest cost of just $99. Which means, it is accessible by almost every hacker out there.
So how do you protect against such a device?
By being careful and practicing some basic cybersecurity measures, you can protect your reputation, money, and private data against these hackers. Let us share some best cybersecurity practices you can adopt to protect yourself over public Wifi services:
- Use a VPN: This can’t be stressed enough. You should always use a VPN before connecting to a public Wifi. This will help you mask your IP address and encrypt your data so hackers can not steal your information. We recommend you to download Tunnel VPN and connect to it before using Public Wifi.
- Always turn Wifi sharing off when you are outdoors. Sharing may be convenient when you are at your office or home, but always turn it off whenever you are visiting a mall, cafe, or bus stop.
- Don’t access sensitive information over public Wifi. It will only make you more vulnerable. If it is really important and can’t wait, use a VPN before using the Wifi.
- Always ask the employee or someone authentic at the place about the authenticity of the Wifi being offered. While this may seem unnecessary, this can really save you from a hacking attack. Most of the hacking victims don’t find it necessary to confirm Wifi authenticity.
- Keep your Bluetooth off.