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Criminals are starting to set up fake WiFi hot spots: security experts

NEW YORK (NEWS1130) – Sure, it could save you money in the short term, but logging on to a free WiFi network at a store or coffee shop during your next trip south could end up costing you, big time.

The latest cyber-scam out of the US involves phoney hot spots set up by criminals.

Cyber security expert James Lyne recently conducted an experiment; he set up three hot spots across New York, offering free WiFi. Thousands signed on.

He tells NBC News that this gives criminals direct access to your name, email address, and password — as well as your credit card details, if you provide them through their connection.

Experts say even after you log on and you see those little padlocks in your browser, it doesn’t mean you’re on a secure connection. It only means your information is encrypted while it’s being delivered to the cyber-criminal.

How do you protect yourself from something like this? Only use wifi you know is trustworthy, avoid paying for hot spots, and keep your security software up to date.