In this age and time, identity theft through a wireless connection is happening everywhere. You just checked into an airport while on a business and decided to connect to a free WiFi offered by the same airport. The place offers internet access for slightly higher than the maximum price for the same service that you have seen so far, so you decide to connect to a readily available network for cheap. The cheaper connection comes with unlimited access for a fraction of the cost.
Thinking you are saving a lot of money for the five hours gap between your flights at the airport, you connect to this unknown network through a web browser. Every time, the page displays a message asking for your permission to encrypt data to which you agree. Not knowing why the message appears very often, you continue doing your business, accessing bank account at some point, using credit card for a gift purchase and much else. When you are done, you notice that your credit card has been compromised. This scenario happens too often than you think in the real world, not just at the airport but every place that you can think of around you.
Free wireless connection is the bait used by scammers and identity thieves to steal your personal as well as confidential information. It is happening around residences, at coffee shops, restaurants, hotels even public parks where free WiFi is in abundance. Sometimes, it appears as if you are connecting to your own internet service provider through an affiliate, but in reality, you are being connected to an unknown computer somewhere in the opposite side of the world. These networks have the ability to gather login credentials, name, address, SSNs and bank accounts as soon as you enter them. The information you enter is then used for numerous attacks which appear in the form of credit card fraud, bank account breach, personal data breach, even junk mails to your home address. In essence, a free wireless connection can be as dangerous as losing your debit card in a crowd.
Because these type of attack can happen anywhere to anyone via a wireless connection, it is important that you follow certain guidelines when connecting to public networks. If you have a choice between using legitimate wireless network offered by the business and some cheap connection from an unknown source, always choose the former. Again, wire is preferred than wireless as most wired connection are directly provided by the business you are in. While these choices are far more secure, they are not 100% foolproof. So, it is imperative that you have adequate security/protection service from wireless security providers like https://www.megapath.com/security/mpls/.
If for any reason you are being prompted to enter credit card information, use one with lowest credit limit or a bank account with a small amount of money in it. Credit card companies or banks usually reimburse fraud transactions within a day or two. In addition, look for ways to protect your computer through software service meant for the same.