HOW MUCH DID YOUR LAST CUP OF COFFEE COST?
Imagine the scene, youâ€™re between meetings and decide to drop in to your favourite coffee shop for a steaming hot cup of your favourite coffee, a cake and to tapÂ intoÂ their Wi-Fi to read your emails, refresh your knowledge in time for your next meeting or simply to surf the web.
Then the urge hits, youÂ lookÂ around and see that everybody seems respectable enough so you you head off to the toilet thinking that your laptop is safe on the table. After all, nobody would lift it in sight of all those customers, staff and CCTV cameras would they?
Laptop tracking service provider, Prey, found that areas offering free Wi-Fi were the second most common target forÂ opportunisticÂ laptop thefts â€“ the only riskier place being left Â in a visible place in your car.
If stolen, itâ€™sÂ not onlyÂ theÂ inconvenienceÂ of reÂ placing the laptop, re-installing your applications and copying back your data [you do back-up your data don’t you?] itâ€™s the additional costs that arenâ€™t covered by your insurance.
The Ponemon Institute, a US cyber crime consultancy, put the real cost of the loss of a laptop and itâ€™s data at nearly Â£31,000. This was broken down in to Â£4,000 for the loss of Intellectual Property, forensics and legal bills adding around Â£1,500 with a staggering Â£24,500Â attributableÂ to the loss of income, customers andÂ competitiveÂ advantage associated with a data breach
When you sit down and try to log-on to the Wi-Fi thereâ€™s often a selection of hotspots to choose from. How do you know which is the free service provided by the venue and which is a spoof.
Itâ€™s very easy to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot using a mobile phone, Mi-Fi type of device or laptop and allow other users to connect through this free connection. However, all of the traffic can then be intercepted by the person providing the spoof account â€“ what sort of important information is passed from your laptop through this connection? It could be your details to access your online banking, the log-in to your company network or the necessary information required to access your corporate email account.
So, the next time you stop off for a cup of coffee and decide to log-on using their free Wi-Fi, just make sure you know which network that youâ€™re connecting to and that you donâ€™t leave your laptop unattended.