When using an untrusted network, for instance at an Internet cafe, your network traffic may be monitored by hostile parties.
While on an unsecure network an attacker can be 'listening in' on your internet traffic by the use of packet sniffers. A packet sniffer is software that picks up all the internet traffic on the current network. Most trasmissions under an unsecure network are not encrypted and therefor visible in plain text for an attacker. Through packet sniffing, an attacker can obtain usernames and passwords, financial data, and other non-public personal data.
In order to prevent others from 'listening in' or collecting your passwords, using a virtual private network (VPN) and encryption are strongly encouraged.
Internet cafes and other wireless access points are relatively insecure. Most wireless accommodations are open and available for anyone to "listen".
- Use wireless access points and cybercafes for public information transmissions only.
- Do not perform online banking or shopping on these unsecure networks.
- Do not maintain or store sensitive or confidential information on portable equipment.
- Do not use wireless access points to transmit private/sensitive/confidential information.