There is no doubt that wireless internet has increased productivity and improved communications. Users can join wireless networks at school, in airports and hotels, and even restaurants. However wireless connections may not always be safe. Many public Wi-Fi spots are not secured and users are at risk of exposing sensitive information and data.

Unsecured Wi-Fi

The information you send over an unsecured Wi-Fi network is not encrypted. Always keep that in mind when deciding what information you are sending. A user should always know what network you are joining. In an Evil Twin attack, a user is tricked into joining an imposter network that mimics the authentic public access network. Once the user joins, the attacker can easily intercept sensitive information.

Weak Security Wi-Fi

Some Wi-Fi networks are secured with the Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP), a networking standard. Its intention was to provide encryption of your network traffic. This proved to be too weak of a standard and allowed for very quick and efficient cracking of network traffic. Many old Wi-Fi networks still use this standard and any connection using WEP should be done as if it is an unsecured Wi-Fi. WEP has been replaced with Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) and should be the prefered for wireless networks.


  • Remember that data sent through a unsecure Wi-Fi network is sent in the clear and can be intercepted.
  • Wireless data is not limited to just the range of your computer. Hackers can increase their range by using amplified antennas to intercept the signal from greater distances.
  • Be cautious about the wireless network you join.
  • Be careful about what information you are sending. You should never send personnel information such as a user id, password, banking information, or credit card numbers.
  • You should always restrict email use.
  • You should disable shared folders.

Connecting to VT Wireless

For information on how to connect to VT Wireless, visit this 4Help page.