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Be security conscious while using free Wi-Fi, IT expert warns Internet users

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Lagos – An Information Technology expert, Mr Jide Awe, on Saturday urged members of the general public to be security conscious while using free Wi-Fi.

Municipal Wi-fi

Awe, the Conferences Committee Chairman, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), made the plea in an interview in Lagos.

According to him, free Wi-Fi or even Wi-Fi used at home, is prone to be hacked if proper measures are not put in place to safeguard it.

On July 27, Google unveiled Google Station, a programme aimed at providing free high quality, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots to millions of Nigerians.

The Google Station would be rolling out in 200 locations in five cities across Nigeria by the end of 2019, and was currently located in five areas in Lagos.

“The Google Station is a welcome development in the sense that it will span the availability of broadband and indirectly lead to economic activities and growth.

“We should also understand that anything that has to do with infrastructure providing IT services, one must always think of cyber security.

“Everyone has a role to play to ensure that the services are not easily hacked and for the individual, they should make sure that their workstation is well protected,’’ he said.

Awe urged the public to have good security tools that are regularly updated on their workstations, which could easily block any form of hacking.

He said that the same principles that one would apply when using a Wi-Fi in the house to avoid penetration should also be applied when one was using a free Wi-Fi like the Google Station.

“Getting regular updates and putting an alert can save one’s data because of some social engineering that people also use to hack,’’ he said.

Awe added that not only does the free Wi-Fi pose negative threats, it also has its positive side, like the improved access to internet for people within the environment it was situated.

“When people start using it more and as long as it is sustainable, it will lead to job creation, reduction in cost of data and better access to broadband.

“It will lead to more people being included in the digital revolution that is going on, which will eventually lead to improvement of oneself.

“This access will lead to a multiplier effect in terms of economic growth for the country,’’ he said. (NAN)

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