The Bottom Line: Fake Wi-Fi hotspots
Updated: Thursday, July 10 2014, 09:46 PM EDT
NISKAYUNA -- It's one of the "hottest" ways that hackers try to get your personal information: Using a fake Wi-Fi hotspot they can set up to track your every online move.
By using a piece of equipment bought online, they can set up a "copycat" hotspot wherever you might be using free Wi-Fi.
For example, at Gregory's Coffee, the store's actual Wi-Fi hotspot is called "Gregory's Coffee" - but security expert Caleb Huff set up a fake Wi-Fi hotspot called "Greg Coffee One."
After a user connected to the fake hotspot as a test, Huff was able to see that person's e-mail username and password.
"Once I have your password, if you're using the same password on your banking website... I can take your identity," Huff says.
What makes it even easier for hackers to get their hands on your information, is you allowing them to access it.
A recent survey by Consumer Reports found 62% of Americans do nothing online to protect their privacy.
The Bottom Line on one of the best ways to change that?
Experts say to buy a virtual private network, or VPN. It will crypt everything from your device, and cost you $3 to $10 a month.
Finally, they say, the easiest way to protect yourself - make sure you're logging on to the correct Wi-Fi hotspot.