Many people are concerned after recent news reports of a security flaw that has made Wi-Fi connections everywhere vulnerable to being hacked.
We’ve all been told to update our devices with the latest security patches, but is that really enough?
The KRACK attack is just another reason why money expert Clark Howard doesn’t use public Wi-Fi at places like coffee shops, hotels and airports — even if the network is password-protected.
That’s because the security on public Wi-Fi networks is often “lax or nonexistent,” according to the experts at Norton.
Warning: Why you should never use public Wi-Fi
What does Clark do when he wants to surf the web at a public place? Instead of connecting to the public Wi-Fi, he uses his smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot or just relies on cellular data.
Clark said the only two places where he connects to Wi-Fi are at home and work.
“Like so many people today, I have unlimited data on my cell phone. I’m also privileged that my cell phone comes with unlimited hotspot. Unless I’m at home or work, where I think I can trust the Wi-Fi, I operate off my own hotspot so that I’m not putting myself in the position where I might be exposed and vulnerable.”
Listen to Clark talk about Wi-Fi security on The Clark Howard Show Podcast
Clark’s advice: Get an unlimited plan and stay off public Wi-Fi!
If you have an unlimited data plan, it’s easy to avoid the temptation of connecting to public Wi-Fi because you don’t have to worry about data limits — and your plan may include a mobile hotspot feature.
Unlimited plans are also getting cheaper. Here are a few recent deals from ClarkDeals.com:
- MetroPCS: 4 lines for $100/month
- Xfinity Mobile: $45/month
- T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+: 2 lines for $60/month
People who pay for cell phone data by the gigabyte may feel the need to use free public Wi-Fi to avoid going over their limit, but Clark said that’s too much of a risk.
“Away from your home, take this to heart. Be very wary of using any public Wi-Fi,” Clark said.
When you’re not connected to home or work Wi-Fi, Clark said anyone closely watching their cellular data usage should try to limit video and music streaming.