(WFRV)- Most of us like free wi-fi and that includes hackers. Whether at a coffee shop or airport, public wi-fi is often available to connect your laptop, Smartphone, or tablet to the internet. But those connections are rarely secure, and hackers have found easy ways to sneak into your account.
Call it one-touch hacking. Quick and easy ways for hackers to spy into your private accounts.
Kevin Mahaffey, CTO, Lookout Mobile Security: "I have an application on here that can attack a local wifi network and listen to all of the data that's being sent over it that's not secure."
These folks volunteered their accounts so security expert Kevin Mahaffey could try to hack into them.
Kevin Mahaffey, CTO, Lookout Mobile Security: "So here we see multiple Facebook accounts, Youtube, Amazon account that are all being logged into on this local wifi network near us. And we can -- with just a tap -- log in to their accounts."
So he did. And he changed Kevin Hahn's Facebook status.
Kevin Hahn, CNET: "It makes me think about the security of the internet and what I do wirelessly."
The reason these hacking programs exist is so researchers can find loophooles and problems before the bad guys.
Elinor Mills, CNET Senior Writer: "This is a way of putting pressure on Facebook and other companies to provide secure connections to their websites for their consumers."
But there are ways to browse safely while connected to public Wi-fi.
Kevin Mahaffey,CTO, Lookout Mobile Security: "So on Facebook, I'm going to go into my account, click on account settings. And under that, there's an account security section and you simply check "secure browsing: https" which is different than http. The "s" means it's secure. You can click save and now every time you log into Facebook in the future, it will use a secure way of transmitting data to Facebook.
Browsing on a secure connection can be a bit slower, but it's the only way to guarantee your personal accounts stay secure.