When traveling, one of the main questions people ask when booking a hotel is, “Is there Internet available?” Usually the answer is yes. That is because we are up to our chins in the technical era. We can’t get by without our computers and have to have access wherever we go. Unfortunately this convenience of Internet at hotels can become tarnished because of internet security and privacy issues. A report issued by Government Computer News tackles this topic.
Having access to the internet helps you to be more productive when traveling, and keeps you in touch with those who are important to you. But one has to wonder how safe the internet connections you’re using really are. According to the experts, they aren’t very safe at all.
Information was gathered from 47 hotels and other properties by researchers, and the results were quite eye-opening.
Approximately 20% of the hotels investigated used basic network hubs for guest internet connections. What that means is 20% of hotels frequented offer unsecured network connections where all data packets can be seen by anyone else on the network. In other words, your personal information can be easily accessed. It would help if hotels would implement security features so only your session data could be seen. This would stop anyone trying to access your data from using software that collects packets being sent over the network.
Luckily, 90% of the hotels that do have internet access also allow wireless connections. The use of a router that gets the signal out offers another layer of protection. It is a good security measure, but doesn’t me your personal information is being protected. There is a kind of network attack called “A Man in the Middle” attack. How this works is that another computer is set up to act like an Internet gateway and collect all the information and traffic that goes through the network. 21% of hotels have reported malicious attacks and activity on their systems. That’s a sobering thought.
Researchers found that out of the 46 hotel they visited, 39 hotels used wireless connections, and only 6 of those hotels had encryption methods to protect information. That doesn’t bode well for using most hotel internet connections. A wise person would do well to invest in software that will encrypt and allow you to change your IP address before it is sent to any Internet Gateway, or at least utilize an anonymous proxy server. You can always hope for the best with your hotel’s connection, but let’s hope you don’t end up with the worst. It can be costly.Tags: Internet Safety, WiFi Security