Public Wi-Fi security risks highlighted in new Europol warning

Europol has warned that you shouldn’t be sending sensitive data over public Wi-Fi hotspots – not that this was anything that anyone with a bone of tech-savviness in their body didn’t already know.

If you log into your online bank account using an Internet café’s insecure Wi-Fi connection, there are some who might argue you deserve everything you get. There can be any number of issues with public hotspots – Europol highlighted rogue hotspots set up by criminals to let you connect, and then hoover up all your logins, and other sensitive data.

Banking, credit card purchases and the like should really be the exclusive preserve of your (hopefully very secure) home network.

Even that most basic of security breaches can happen in a public environment – namely someone looking over your shoulder as you enter your password on your laptop.

Europol, specifically Troels Oerting, head of the cybercrime centre, was talking to BBC Click about the growing number of attacks which are happening across European countries via public Wi-Fi.

Oerting told the Beeb: “Everything that you send through the wi-fi is potentially at risk, and this is something that we need to be very concerned about both as individual users but also as police.”

Should you want further advice on safe surfing down the net café, check out our top security tips for using your laptop with public Wi-Fi hotspots – one of which, unsurprisingly, is to “avoid banking via public hotspots.”