Times Square, Disney parks, Navy Pier among riskiest attractions for using Wi-Fi: report

SHARE Times Square, Disney parks, Navy Pier among riskiest attractions for using Wi-Fi: report

A new report by mobile security firm Skycure that tested for malicious Wi-Fi hotspots at top tourist attractions around the world found New York’s Times Square the riskiest place to use a mobile device, with several nefarious networks lurking to tap into your phone’s data.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Disney’s amusement parks and Navy Pier also were rated as risky. India’s Taj Mahal was rated the least vulnerable.

One of the most common tricks for hackers is to use the word “free” in a hotspot name to lure tourists. Eight percent of all threats Skycure found came from such networks. The mobile testing also found that Android devices are twice as vulnerable as IOS devices.

Here are the top 15 riskiest attractions:

1. Times Square, New York City

2. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

3. Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallee, France

4. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

5. Ocean Park, Hong Kong

4. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

5. Ocean Park, Hong Kong

6. Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas

7. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood, Calif.

8. Union Station, Washington D.C.

9. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston

10. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, Calif.

11. Navy Pier, Chicago

12. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

13. Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

14. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando

15. Pike Place Market, Seattle

So what’s a tourist to do? Skycure has five tips to enhance your mobile security when you travel:

1. Avoid “Free” Wi-Fi networks.

2. Read the warnings on your device, and don’t click “Continue” if you don’t understand the exposure.

3. Update your device to the most current operating system.

4. Disconnect from the network if your phone behaves strangely.

5. Protect your device with a mobile security app (Skycure has one, and there are several highly rated choices for both Android and iPhone users).

The firm also warns that it’s not just a matter of voluntarily joining Wi-Fi networks. Clever hackers have ways of spoofing legitimate networks you’ve joined, meaning your device could inadvertently leave you exposed. Similarly, some apps may also be Trojan horses to usurp your data, so shop carefully.

The safest thing to do is to power off your device completely. But also pay close attention to performance and security prompts. Ninety-two percent of mobile users will blithely click “continue” when faced with such a warning, a major risk factor.

Lastly, Skycure echoes the slogan of U.S. Homeland Security. “See something, say something,” advises Skycure’s Varun Kohli, meaning that if your phone starts behaving suspiciously, advise others in your group and those around you that they should immediately check their network connections.

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