Sometimes when your home airport is listed in the top five it’s good news. But not in this case! If like me you use one of these airports either as your home airport or as an airport you frequent, pay attention! This is your “make sure hackers don’t get you” reminder.
In a report from cybersecurity firm Coronet, airports were ranked based on how vulnerable their Wi-Fi was to hacking. The firm looked at gaps and problems in the networks that allowed hackers to access users’ information. Hackers having access means a whole lot of potential trouble for your personal data as well as the general health of your whole operating system.
The five worst airports were San Diego International Airport, John Wayne Airport (Orange County, Calif.), William P. Hobby Airport (Houston), Southwest Florida International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport.
I use three of those airports on a regular basis. Yikes. It’s easy to think we use common sense when connecting to any public Wi-Fi network but sometimes we just forget because we’re in a rush or not paying attention to what we’re doing. As a rule, never do any financial, banking, or other data sensitive internet activity on public Wi-Fi. It’s good to use security software (including anti-malware protection) and keep the software up to date on all your devices. Many people use Boingo, which is a Wi-Fi system in many U.S. airports. It’s not free, but it does provide security. I use a Virtual Private Network called ExpressVPN, and love it. Been using it for years and recommend it to everyone I know.
As the article points out, airports sacrifice security for consumer convenience. Knowing this, it’s up to us to know the risks and do what we can to minimize the danger and protect our devices.