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The Bottom Line: Wifi Hacking

NISKAYUNA -- It's one of the "hottest" ways that hackers try to get your personal information:  Using a fake Wi-Fi hotspot they can set up to track your every online move.
 
By using a piece of equipment bought online, they can set up a "copycat" hotspot wherever you might be using free Wi-Fi.
 
For example, at Gregory's Coffee, the store's actual Wi-Fi hotspot is called "Gregory's Coffee" - but security expert Caleb Huff set up a fake Wi-Fi hotspot called "Greg Coffee One."
 
After a user connected to the fake hotspot as a test, Huff was able to see that person's e-mail username and password.
 
"Once I have your password, if you're using the same password on your banking website... I can take your identity," Huff says.
 
What makes it even easier for hackers to get their hands on your information, is you allowing them to access it.
 
A recent survey by Consumer Reports found 62% of Americans do nothing online to protect their privacy.
 
The Bottom Line on one of the best ways to change that?
 
Experts say to buy a virtual private network, or VPN.  It will crypt everything from your device, and cost you $3 to $10 a month.
 
Finally, they say, the easiest way to protect yourself - make sure you're logging on to the correct Wi-Fi hotspot.