Last week I got an email from a friend and colleague in Kansas City, Missouri. Jeff Lanza retired from the FBI, but now travels the country and speaks on a number of topics... among them identity theft and cyber crime.
He told me about a case in Buda, Texas last week where a crook was arrested for stealing the identities of three people. What's interesting is how he committed the crimes. HE CRUISED THROUGH NEIGHBORHOODS LOOKING FOR UNSECURED HOME WIRELESS NETWORKS.
According to the Hays County Sheriff's Office, a 41-year-old man hacked into three victims' computers through their unprotected Wi-Fi connections. Troy Bird is accused of stealing their personal information, making fake I-Ds and credit cards, and using them at a local store.
Smart store clerks notified authorities and deputies reportedly tracked him down, finding a trailer he was using as his mobile office.
The takeaway here... make sure your Wi-Fi site is encrypted. If it isn't ... you are totally vulnerable.
Visualize this... you're sitting at home using your home computer, buying merchandise off the web, and a stranger driving by on your street is swiping your name, address, and credit card numbers.
Hackers can also use your Wi-Fi to send out nasty mass email mailings, spam, and phishing attacks... making it look like you're the one behind it.
Also, when you're out and about using Wi-Fi hot spots at coffee shops and restaurants, make sure those merchants offer you a password... that indicates you're using a protected site.
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