Menu
Menu
Now the FTC has its say on hotel Wi-Fi

Now the FTC has its say on hotel Wi-Fi

Federal Trade Commission warns consumers about public Wi-Fi dangers

First the FCC slapped Marriott International with a $600K fine for Wi-Fi blocking and issued a follow-up enforcement warning to the masses. Now the FTC has issued a hotel Wi-Fi warning of its own.

This one, however, is aimed more at would-be Wi-Fi users rather than establishments offering or blocking Wi-Fi access. The warning begins:

When you travel, have you used your hotel's Wi-Fi -- maybe to pay a few bills or catch up on a report you need to read? You may want to think twice before logging in to accounts over hotel Wi-Fi. Hackers are using security vulnerabilities in hotel Wi-Fi to steal people's passwords and other sensitive information.

From there, the FTC goes on to explain that users can unwittingly load software from compromised hotel Wi-Fi networks that can result in a damaged network device or stolen data.

The FTC doles out the following basic but sound advice:

  • When using a public Wi-Fi network, log in or send personal information only to websites you know are fully encrypted. Look for https in the web address -- the "s" stand for secure.
  • When you've finished using an account, log out.
  • Do not use the same password on different websites.
  • Pay attention to warnings from your web browser about sketchy websites.
  • Some Wi-Fi networks use encryption: WPA2 is the strongest.
  • If you regularly need to access online accounts through public Wi-Fi networks, you may want to use a virtual private network (VPN).
  • Installing browser add-ons or plug-ins can help. For example, Force-TLS and HTTPS-Everywhere are free Firefox add-ons that force the browser to use encryption, if available, on popular websites that don't normally encrypt.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Join the CIO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityftcfccMarriott International

More about FCCFTCMarriott International

Show Comments
Computerworld
ARN
Techworld
CMO