Public urged to ensure online security in using free public WiFi networks

By on March 22, 2017


With the prevalence of free networks, criminals set up fake free Wi-Fi networks, which would cost Internet users dearly when their login credentials are stolen from them. (Photo: miniyo73/ Flickr)
With the prevalence of free networks, criminals set up fake free Wi-Fi networks, which would cost Internet users dearly when their login credentials are stolen from them. (Photo: miniyo73/ Flickr)

MANILA–Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has urged the public to protect their online security as the government pursues its initiative to provide free public WiFi Internet nationwide.

With the prevalence of free networks, criminals set up fake free Wi-Fi networks, which would cost Internet users dearly when their login credentials are stolen from them.

Kaspersky advises the public to avoid public WiFi and to connect to the Internet from home or through mobile only since it is difficult to detect these fake free networks.

“An open, free internet network is like a double-edged sword. It is free but is also definitely risky. It is perfectly fine to feel excited about the anticipated public Wi-Fis in the entire Philippines. But we urge Filipinos to be very cautious, too. We would encourage them to first arm themselves with cyber savvy habits and knowledge to stay safe in a free network,” Sylvia Ng, general manager of Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia, said in a statement.

To protect themselves from free WiFi threats, Internet users should never trust open WiFi networks that require no password as cybercriminals often create them to hack users’ personal data; turn the WiFi off when not in use; and consider using a virtual private network (VPN) as it encrypts sent and received messages, among others.

Once Senate Bill 1277 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act is signed into law, all government offices and public facilities, such as schools, transport terminals, hospitals, and public libraries nationwide will have free Internet access.