Ask Andy: safeguards for using public Wi-Fi - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: safeguards for using public Wi-Fi

(WMC TV) - What happened to Clarencia Wells should change your behavior on public Wi-Fi.

Surfing the Internet on a Midtown Memphis fast food restaurant's public Wi-Fi, she decided to purchase train tickets for her brother -- using her debit card.

In a matter of hours, hackers trolling the restaurant's Wi-Fi hacked half a month of her salary.

"I immediately called the bank, and they told me my account was compromised -- my entire paycheck," she said.

You really shouldn't use public Wi-Fi for password-based browsing.

Facebook: No.

Twitter: Be careful.

Online banking/shopping: absolutely not.

In fact, you should never use your debit card for online purchases on either public or secure Wi-Fi. Only trust the built-in security of your credit card for online shopping.

Ignore pop-up's or prompts to download software while browsing on public Wi-Fi. They are often hacker bait to get you to click and launch spyware or malware.

Before you travel, update the security software on your laptop, smart phone or tablet to gear up for the sketchy Wi-Fi in hotels and airports. In The Action News 5 Investigators:  Password Stealers, we recommended software from and

For smart phones, Steve Weisman, a lawyer and member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, told Bottom Line Personal magazine he recommends Kaspersky Mobile Security, ESET Mobile Security, BullGuard Mobile Security and AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android users.

He said iPhone or iPad users should consider AVG Safe Browser.

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