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Posted: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hotel guests warned about bogus wifi

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By Clark Howard


When you're logging onto the Internet at a hotel, beware of bogus unsecured networks set up by criminals that lure you in with the promise of free wifi.

The FBI warns that hackers are working from the parking lots of hotels that charge for Internet, or even checking in for a night, just to set up websites that look official and are often named after the hotel's frequent stay program. These appear to be legit hotspots and give supposed free wifi access.

But what they're really doing is keylogging your every stroke. When you go to any financial account or to your email account on one of these bogus networks, they're recording your keystrokes so they can figure out your passwords.

Let's face it: If a crook cracks your email, how much sensitive info is in there?!

So you need to be aware and be careful. If a hotel does not have free wifi, and you find what seems to be a legit hotel-branded website promising free wifi, you know you're one step away from being hacked.

Meanwhile, as executive producer Christa and I were on the road traveling to Tulsa, OK., and Joplin, MO., for a couple of Habitat builds, something worse still happened. Christa left her iPad 2 in the seatback pocket of the airplane. Unfortunately, it has not yet turned up at the airline's lost and found.

So here's the rule: If you have an iPad on an airplane, put it into your carry-on bag when you're finished with it instead of the seatback pocket!

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