Bye-Bye, Wi-Fi?

Albert BlaizeNews, Tech Talk

In Albert’s Corner this month, thoughts on whether wi-fi is going away … and whether that’s a good thing.

One of the articles we’ve shared online this month looks at the possibility of a “world without wi-fi.” (If you missed it, read it here.) We’ve run across other pieces suggesting that wi-fi would soon be a relic, but the idea was always that new technology would replace it; for example, li-fi technology, which uses light waves instead of radio waves to connect devices.

This particular post is a little different, though, because the idea is that your favorite coffee shop might stop offering free wi-fi because so many cell carriers have gone to unlimited data plans. If you can browse and download to your heart’s content on your phone or tablet, who needs to jump through the hoops of connecting to a slow, overloaded network?

While this particular article is probably wishful thinking, at least in the short term, the move away from wi-fi would be a great thing, and here’s why: using public wi-fi is almost never a good idea.

In my job, I spend a fair amount of time in the Starbucks and Paneras of the world, and I still see people checking their bank accounts or other sensitive information. I hope and pray that they’re connected via their own secure hotspots, but I know many are not.

Most of us are savvy enough not to do our banking on public wi-fi, but many don’t realize how easy it is for someone else to snatch the login information for our email or social media accounts (for a scary look at exactly that, check out this 2013 article from PC World). In some cases you don’t even need a PC … there’s an app for that.

My two cents: if you’re doing anything at all beyond checking out the news online, you should connect privately. Even if your cell carrier hasn’t graced you with an unlimited plan yet, a few bucks in data overages is well worth avoiding the hassle of being hacked. Public wi-fi can’t go away soon enough to suit me.

Questions about your online security?  Give us a call or contact us online.

Albert Blaize is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for TRG Networking. Contact him at albert@trgnetworking.com.

Albert BlaizeBye-Bye, Wi-Fi?