Retailers, banks, and other online retailers use secure websites (HTTPS) to provide secure transactions. These websites have "https" in their URLs and a small lock symbol next to them. SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is the technology behind HTTPS. SSL creates an encrypted link between a website and your web browser and ensures that all data that passes between them remains private.
Until now, everyone has assumed that if a website is using HTTPS for online transactions, it means that they are completely safe. But recently, researchers have discovered a serious weakness in this technology that allows hackers to read and steal supposedly encrypted data.
How the SSL Attack Works
At a recent security conference in Buenos Aires, two researchers, Thai Duong and Juliana Rizzo, demonstrated a program they developed called BEAST (Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS) that exposes this vulnerability. This program can read encrypted-data websites used to grant access to restricted user accounts. In their demo, Duong and Rizzo decrypted cookies used to access a PayPal account.
This vulnerability is just the latest found in HTTPS that almost all online retailers use to protect online transactions. BEAST exploits a vulnerability that scrambles block-after-block of data using the previously encrypted block.
Only PRIVATE WiFi Fully Protects You
Using a personal VPN like PRIVATE WiFi is the only way to protect yourself from this kind of attack in a WiFi hotspot, whether you are simply emailing or making any financial transaction using a credit card, paying with something via PayPal, or managing your online banking accounts.
Now more than ever, consumers need PRIVATE WiFi to protect themselves. PRIVATE WiFi encrypts all the data moving to and from your laptop, even HTTPS information. A bad guy may not be lurking in every single WiFi hotspot, but a personal VPN provides an extra layer of security that protects ALL of your communication.
About Public WiFi Online Identity Risks
Public WiFi usage has been increasing exponentially in recent years due to its convenience and accessibility. These days, you can access the Internet from just about anywhere: coffee shops, airports, public libraries, hotel rooms, and just about any other public place. However, most of us are not aware the online identity risks inherent in using a public WiFi network.
WiFi networks use radio waves to connect computers to one another. This means that when you connect to a public network, you are basically exposing all of your computer files, including personal data such as credit card information, passwords, and social security numbers, to anyone within that network. This has led to a new type of hacking called "sniffing." Sniffers are computer tools that don’t require physical access to your computer. With the right software, easily available on the Internet, hackers can use sniffers to steal any unencrypted data on a public WiFi network. It could even be the guy sipping his coffee at the table right next to you.
The best way to protect your sensitive information is to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, which encrypts the data moving to and from your laptop. The encryption protects all your Internet communication from being intercepted by others in WiFi hotspots. In addition, VPNs can prevent hackers from connecting to your laptop and stealing your data files.
Most large companies have a company-support VPN to protect corporate communications. PRIVATE WiFi provides the same capability for individuals, business travelers, and small and medium-sized enterprises.
About PRIVATE WiFi
Private Communications Corporation is a security technology company that protects personal data and information on the Internet. PRIVATE WiFi, the company’s flagship software offering, encrypts all computer data across unencrypted WiFi networks, enhancing online privacy for those without access to virtual private networks. Founded by software entrepreneur Kent Lawson, who is concerned about the growing number of privacy issues on the Internet. Private Communications Corporation is headquartered in Sherman, CT. For more information, visit us at http://www.privatewifi.com and for articles and other online privacy resources, please visit http://www.private-i.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/privatewifi.
PRIVATE WiFi protects your identity and sensitive information by making you invisible on any public WiFi network. For further information, please contact us at 1-860-615-9896.
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