Using Wi-Fi Safely: A Lesson in Hotspot Security


We love keeping you connected to your favorite people and places. With that comes some online responsibility — for us and for you.

When you’re connected through Boingo, you are our special guest and we treat you like one! We are WI-FI CERTIFIED, exercising all the latest data security methodologies in order to protect our network and your data from unauthorized third parties.

Here are some ways you can help keep your information safe from the online creepers:

  • Connect Securely: Five magic letters to remember when logging on to a website on a public network: “HTTPS” at the front of a URL (instead of plain old “http”) provides you with authentication of the web site and associated web server, which can help protect against man-in-the-middle attacks, and makes it impossible for phishing. Not every site offers the H-T-T-P with an S. Shopping, financial institutions and email sites should have this.
  • Speaking of Man-In-the-Middle: Sometimes Boingo is perceived as a man-in-the middle because we securely authenticate your HTTPS traffic by redirecting to our login pages. It’s here where the certificate authentication may not match (since you’re connecting through us), and may display an error message — but don’t fret, we’ve got you covered!  The authentication happens within a secure channel and it’s not really a man-in-the-middle attack.
  • Passpoint: Even if the site or application you’re visiting doesn’t encrypt its data, Passpoint has you covered. It automatically encrypts Wi-Fi data at thousands of hotspots — and it is included with your Boingo subscription. Plus, there are no apps, no login pages and no accounts to remember when you want to sign in at a hotspot. When Passpoint is enabled on your device, it makes safe connectivity a snap! Enabling Passpoint is easy. Take a moment to do it now.
    • Banking and other sensitive transactions can be conducted online without anyone (or anything) eavesdropping!
    • Authentication is 2-way, meaning it protects against “rogue” networks.
    • Passpoint creates an impenetrable tunnel providing safe passage for your data (via 802.11i if you want to get technical).
  • Surf Smart: You won’t always be able to do all of your surfing at home with the door closed and the shades drawn. When you’re on a public network, you’re probably out in public! If you wouldn’t want a person looking over your shoulder to see what you’re doing online, you should think twice about accessing it on a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Update Passwords: Of course, the more often you update your passwords, the better. You improve your odds of staying secure with complex passwords, and you can even change them every few days while traveling! Consider using a password manager to help you assign random passwords and keep them straight!
  • Use a Trusted Wi-Fi provider: If possible, connect to a network managed by a trusted Wi-Fi provider (like Boingo), who is actively monitoring and managing the network for rogue activity.

In order to make the network available to everyone, it has to be open. That doesn’t mean you can’t be safe when online! Let’s work together to keep your information safe and secure.

 

 

 

 

About Jay Pearson

Jay is Consumer Marketing Manager for Boingo Wireless. He is responsible for all marketing tactics and social media associated with Boingo's customer-facing products. When not working or attending one of his kid’s activities, he enjoys running and biking at the beach, hunting for old German cars and rooting for the UCSB Gauchos and Arsenal F.C.
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