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Protecting Your Mobile Devices from Hacking While on Vacation

(CNN) — More than 40 million Americans are about to hit the road for summer travel.

Despite that overwhelming desire to get away from it all, most of us want to stay connected.

You’re on summer vacation at a fabulous destination, and you can’t wait to share photos on social media.

Lucky for you, there’s wi-fi at the hotel, at the cafe on the corner, and on planes and trains in between.

Unlucky for you, it could be risky.

Most wi-fi users know to use more caution when using a free hotspot.

Paying to use a connection at a hotel, an airport or on an airplane, but can create a false sense of security.

“Whether it’s paid or not, whether there’s a password involved or not, nearly all of them are completely unsecure. The reason that wifi hotspots put passwords on their wifi is not to protect the individual, but rather to limit usage,” says Ken Lawson of Private Wi-Fi.

Lawson’s firm, Private Wi-Fi, a service and mobile app aimed at protecting wi-fi users, recommends that travelers:

  • Confirm the name of a hotel or restaurant’s hotspot with the establishment’s staff.
  • Disable features on a mobile device that automatically connect to any network within range.
  • Don’t connect to ad hoc networks. There’s no way to tell if they’re secure.
  • Turn off a device’s wi-fi connection when not in use.

Another option is a VPN — a virtual private network — which creates a secure network within a wi-fi connection, usually by logging in through a website.

Or just take a break and save certain activities for a home computer. After all, you are on vacation.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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