Internet Marketing – you aren’t even secure in your home!

With my feet up in the living room
later in the day I lay back on the sofa
with a glass of red wine and a vinyl
disc spinning on the record player.

I spoil this relaxing moment by going
online – a nasty modern habit few of us
can resist.

But I feel happy at last to
be safe in my own home with a
password-protected broadband service.

When clicking on the wi-fi logo on the
top bar of my laptop screen I see a
padlock next to the name given to my
home internet service.

Fortunately, my
computer automatically remembers my
password when I am at home even if I
never do.

All is well – or so I think.

But the living room where I am sitting
is served by a ‘signal booster’ – a
plug-in gadget bought years ago to
extend my home wi-fi signal to areas
where reception is weak.

The booster
has its own wi-fi symbol but shows no
padlock symbol on my computer – and has
no password protection – meaning the
system is not secure.

Tankard shakes his head in disbelief at
my stupidity. ‘How on earth do you
sleep at night? With no padlock logo or
password prompt at all any Tom, Dick or
Harry passing by can use your wi-fi.

You have no idea what they are getting
up to – they could download illegal
material and it will have been done
using your equipment.’

With my stern telling off over, Tankard
admits even if I had used a secure
password on my home wi-fi booster it
would still be no match for a serious
hacker wielding a ‘pineapple’ device.

He says: ‘Remember, a hacker is not
just a spy but he can take over too.
If you do any online banking they watch
and as soon as you tap in your account
details cut your connection.

It looks like a glitch on your computer –
perhaps the screen momentarily locks or
you see a spinning “wait cursor” disc.

But meanwhile the fraudster is still on
the website – changing direct debit
details of regular expenditures, such
as utility bills and putting in new
bank account payment numbers.
This ensures you do not notice anything
suspicious when you log back in.

‘The first you know about it is when
your bank account has been emptied.’

Just in case there was any doubt left
that Big Brother has now arrived – and
can steal all my money and personal
details – Tankard highlights the other
vulnerable wi-fi devices that can be
tapped into from outside the home with
the right hacking tools.

They include baby monitors that can be
eavesdropped on, TVs and smart ‘virtual
assistants’, such as Alexa, that record
private conversations

Adding passwords
is important though not a cast-iron
deterrent for the determined hacker –
meaning installing special security
software at home could be worth the
effort for peace of mind.
 Oh dear. I think it is time to go and

lie down in a dark room – with no wi-fi.


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John Thornhill:

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