Q: Airlines are offering Wifi all the time now and I travel a lot for work. Is the wifi in the skye safe to surf? 

A: The airline industry sees great revenue coming from charging passengers an additional $6 – $15 per flight to use their iPads, laptops and other internet-enabled devices. Moms and dads see WiFi as an additional techno-baby-sitter. Business folks see more billable (maybe even productive) hours.

Some experts claim WiFi in the air will be a disaster. You might not agree with every point but we encourage you to think about each item here, discuss it with your colleagues and families, and come up with your own answers.

A few things to consider:

  • One passenger can grab the WiFi and security credentials of another passenger, unless a VPN is being used. Ouch!
  • Unless sharing on devices is set properly, the entire contents of a computer can be exposed to every passenger.
  • Many folks will want to use VoIP (Voice over IP, such as Skype, Magic Jack and Vonage), increasing cabin noise with endless phone call chatter.
  • Some services, like Gogo Inflight Internet, attempt to restrict certain service like VoIP, but bypassing those controls takes just a few keystrokes.

What does OUR expert say? “Enjoy the flight. Prepare any materials you want to work on ahead of time. Plan. Save the $15 by skipping the WiFi access and also save the security and privacy risks. Or…just read a book!”

Have more security questions? Tweet our experts at @SecAwareCo!

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