Public WiFi could be dangerous when shopping online


While Cyber Monday deals are booming, you might want to be careful where you shop.

Connecting to public WiFi might do you more harm than good.

If you’re shopping on public WiFi, it could be dangerous because anybody can get a hold of your personal information.

Financial Crimes Investigator William Bonsack with Columbia County Sheriff’s Office says to “never ever ever use public WiFi on your phone or your lap top to check anything related to bank or credit card statements.”

The discounts are hot, and many are trying to buy what they can for the holidays, but today is also one to remember how to be secure.

“Everything that you’re doing on that public WiFi, if somebody has connected it inappropriately and has the appropriate tools on their computer can actually watch everything that you’re doing and can actually capture keystrokes,” says Investigator Bonsack.

These bad guys can check your search in real time. If there is not a password, it is not protected.

“They know where you’re going to what you’re doing, they got your information, they can capture it,” says Investigator Bonsack.

For vacation goers, hotel computers are normally password protected by your room information, but investigator Bonsack says it’s still not secure.

“Some hotels don’t have the protocols set in place to delete everything that you’ve done while you were there once you go to log off,” he says.

Investigator Bonsack says to consistently check your credit card and bank statements daily to keep track of what you buy.

“The minute you find something you didn’t buy,” he says, “immediately notify your bank or your credit card company so that you can start to protect yourself.”

Using your iPhone as a hot spot for your other devices also protects what you surf on the web.

“You’d be surprised how much money people make by scamming people and stealing things to get credits in your name to get a hold of a check and go cash it,” says Investigator Bonsack.

If you decide to go shopping inside a store, there are apps you can download that detect illegal card skimming systems in your area. Click HERE to find those apps.

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