Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How safe is free public Wi-Fi?

President Rodrigo Duterte recently enacted a law providing free internet access in public places nationwide.

The law, which requires a mandated minimum internet speed per user of two megabits per second (2 Mbps) is expected to get more Filipinos online. However, logging in to a free Wi-Fi access may carry security risks.

Cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab has identified free Wi-Fi as one of the biggest security risks for computer and mobile internet users.

A 2016 survey of the firm revealed that 71 percent of respondents said they use unsecured public Wi-Fi in bars and fastfood restaurants.

Meanwhile, 15 percent use free public Wi-Fi for bank transactions and online payments.

Department of Information Communication Technology (DICT) Asst. Sec. Allan Cabanlong admitted that although there are risks in using free public Wi-Fi services, the government ensured that its project is safe for public use.

"We made sure that the free Wi-Fi of the DICT is only 100 mbps... For the hacker to use it, it may be questionable because 100 mbps is not enough to hack someone," he said.

Cabanlong advised the public to be wary of the public Wi-Fi providers by checking the names and spellings.

-ANC Future Perfect, August 09, 2017