Before we start, we at BLCOMP do not promote the use of programs like Wireshark. We do promote the use of VPN’s.
Do you want to Give Everyone in a 1 Block Radius All your Personal Information???
If the Answer is yes then Go to Starbucks or Tim Hortons or Any Coffee Shop that operates Free WiFi and have just one person running a packet sniffer in the background and watch the fun begin. All a person needs to do is google a free program called “Wireshark”, download it and install it. Go to the first Coffee shop with all the people using their phones / computers / tablets and turn on the program after connecting to the establishment’s wi-fi. Be sure to be quiet and look at all the free data you will receive… Guaranteed you will be shocked on what data you’ll get… every email in that area, usernames, passwords, login credentials, bank info and much more… this is because most traffic is handled in plain text and not encrypted… the person getting the info doesn’t even have to know how it works… they just download and run the prg which does all the work. it even groups the data for you… how nice hmmm????
Here is the fix… use a VPN… (Very Private Network Software) It encrypts the device you are using to an internet end point through the current internet gateway (the coffee shop)…. Some of the VPN’s are Free… Some you have to Pay… As in anything you get what you pay for…. but even a free VPN is better than nothing… The point is the person (the attacker) grabbing the Data through Wireshark only sees Encrypted Data Only… It looks like Random Text. So simple to set up and use a VPN… but people do not use it, and they get taken to the cleaners…
Example: You are accessing your bank and you login thinking its secure… yes after logging in you are secure (mostly) but to login side is not secure… the attacker now has your login info and can now login to your back at their connivence posing as you to do whatever they want.
Example: You pay for something online using your credit card… now the attacker has your credit card number with security number with all the dates needed.
I for one am foolish for doing this (No VPN at Tim Hortons)… not anymore… do the right thing…
Get a VPN or find someone to set it up for you!