After the introduction of smart phones, Wi-Fi technology has become widely used by many people, mainly due to its measured rate payment system. Every Internet service provider claims that the cost to keep or improve network services is dramatically increasing, so that they have to introduce the measured rate payment system. Thus, as a way to avoid huge charges for data usage, many people try to use Wi-Fi no matter where they are.
However, Wi-Fi networks, in open areas are dangerous since they are widely used by many people. Nobody can know whether hackers are among the users or not. Maybe, those Wi-Fi networks without passwords all around us can be traps too. Once people connect their mobile phones to Wi-Fi, there is a path made for data to be transferred. Hackers can easily sneak into their systems through that path, when they are also connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use Wi-Fi only at home because it at least requires a password to use. However, it can be useless if the password is very easy to crack. Thus, it is necessary to make a password using all the combinations of characters, numbers and special letters since these combinations increase the variables.
Like Wi-Fi, it is truly dangerous to use Bluetooth in an open area as well. Bluetooth can connect up to 8 devices within its range and it does not need any keys for connection. Imagine this: when you use Bluetooth while you walk, someone you do not know at all can connect to your mobile phone when he or she uses Bluetooth. It is therefore recommended to turn off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection.
Gi-Sung Nam, a system engineer at Korea Server Hosting, said “it is really important for users to recognize the dangers of using Wi-Fi in an open area, especially those without passwords.” He also emphasized that just using free Wi-Fi networks in public areas can trigger the break-down of the whole secured network system. This is because a malicious code can quickly spread from an infiltrated mobile phone which is frequently connected to a free Wi-Fi zone. One of the main objectives for IT security companies is to reduce the point of contact in order to protect intranets. However, this is only the case for wired networks, not the case for wireless networks because it has too many points of contacts.
According to the Information Management department at Kookmin University, the number of Wi-Fi network users is increasing and the pace of that rising trend is also picking up speed. This clearly shows that the preference of using smart phones over laptops and computers is inevitable. In addition to this, the department emphasizes that end-users(the final user of a computer system) should update their anti-virus programs frequently. If this is not done, the efforts to protect the university’s network service could be on the verge of collapse. This is because about 30,000 new malicious codes are created every day.
Beom-Taek Kim, a manager in the Education Solutions department at Global Knowledge Korea, said “WIPS (Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems), WDMS (Wireless Device Management Systems) and MDM (Mobile Device Management) are technology system that are currently used to protect wireless network users, but the most important way to protect one’s device is the realization and careful usage by users themselves.” He also highlights that the government should pay constant attention and invest in the IT security area. This should not be a one time occasion just because of an incident where personal information has been leaked from financial institutions, but it should be to prepare for the inevitable future, the Internet of Things which refers to an environment that objects in lives are connected with wired and wireless networks for sharing information.
Therefore, both the government and the public should put IT security issues as their first priority and pay careful attention when using IT technology.