The rise of the internet everywhere culture in the past few years has created both solutions and problems that we did not think that we would ever have. Even in the early years of the internet we still did not think that we would get to this point in this relatively short amount of time. In the last ten years the rise of the internet has been explosive and we are starting to see it in use for a lot of things that we did not think it would be. We have a lot of portable gadgets due to the nature of our always connected society. And people tend to forget to make sure that these gadgets are secured just like their home computers are.
Where once the only portable device to use the internet with was the laptop, we are now starting to see a wide use of devices like the tablet computer, mobile phones, internet connected watches, and cars that are able to connect as well. And to accommodate that we have had companies try to push their internet connection signals everywhere. And it only makes sense. People want to be able to go to a place where they will be able to use their devices to their full capacities. If you are a business that provides that ability then you will be the one who will start to bring in all of the customers. But businesses are not the only ones who are picking up on that idea. Your local city and state governments are starting to use these strategies as well.
In a lot of major cities all across the nation you are starting to see a lot of governments place large spans of WIFI all over town. All of this WIFI allows people to be able to connect to the internet and most of the time it is free. While a lot of constituents like this idea, there have been some businesses that have fought against the idea because they know that they are losing a weapon to bring in customers. If you can get your internet free from the park then there really is no need for you to go to your local coffee shop or bookstore to get the internet is there?
So far the cities that have implemented free WIFI in public areas have had mixed results. Some of the cities have had WIFI connections that were very strong and a lot of the residents were a fan of it. And then in some cities the WIFI connection was considered spotty at best. It was something that you would use in case of emergency but not something that you would use on a day to day basis.
But there are more factors than signal strength that you have to worry about when using a connection like this. You also have to worry about security. And you have to worry about security in a big way. Just like any other public WIFI you really have to worry about security when you are dealing with municipal WIFI’s. While it may not seem like it, you have local bad guys that are very good black hat hackers and they might be hanging out on those WIFI lines waiting for their next victim.
A popular attack that is used on public WIFI such as this is the man in the middle attack. They make you think that you have logged onto the network but in reality you have logged on to their network. And while you are on their network they collect information about you. Every time you surf a website they get the information.
So it does not matter if it is governments owned or private, you always have to worry about safety when you are on a large scale WIFI.