It’s possible for sensitive information, including credit card details, to be stolen over a WiFi network if proper security measures aren’t in place. Here are a few ways this can happen:
- Unsecured WiFi Networks: If you’re using a public or unsecured WiFi network (such as in cafes, airports, or public spaces) without encryption or password protection, it’s easier for hackers to intercept data being transmitted. They can use tools to capture unencrypted information passing through the network, including credit card numbers or personal details.
- Malicious Hotspots: Cybercriminals can set up fake TP-Link WiFi networks that seem legitimate (such as naming the network similarly to a nearby café or business). When users connect to these fraudulent hotspots, the hacker can intercept the data being transmitted, potentially including credit card information.
- Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: This involves an attacker intercepting communication between two parties. They can position themselves between your device and the website or service you’re accessing, allowing them to eavesdrop on the information being exchanged, potentially including credit card details.
To protect yourself from credit card theft over WiFi:
- Use Encrypted Networks: Always connect to secure, encrypted WiFi networks. Look for “https” in the URL of websites when making transactions, indicating a secure connection. Avoid entering sensitive information on non-secure websites.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN): Consider using a VPN, especially on public networks. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept your data.
- Keep Software Updated: Ensure your devices have the latest security updates and patches to protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Avoid Public WiFi for Sensitive Transactions: Whenever possible, avoid making credit card transactions or accessing sensitive information on public WiFi networks. Use your cellular data or a secure, private network instead.
- Two-Factor Authentication: Enable two-factor authentication whenever available. This adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts.
By taking these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of your credit card information being stolen over a WiFi network.