A recent report by ProPublica and Gizmodo has found security vulnerabilities in the WiFi networks at Mar-a-Lago, the resort often visited by President Trump as well as a number of other Trump destinations including the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. and Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. According to the report, “Our inspections found weak and open WiFi networks, wireless printers without passwords, servers with outdated and vulnerable software and unencrypted login pages to back-end databases containing sensitive information.” As would be expected the White House is not commenting on this report other than to indicate that these locations follow cybersecurity best practices. However, the important lesson to us all is to remind us that public WiFi is never secure. However, with some precautions it can be made safer.
Whatever electronic device you are using to connect to a WiFi network, whether it is a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone should be equipped with security software. In addition, you should use encryption software so that your communications are encoded. You also should go to your settings and turn off sharing. In addition, you should make sure that your firewall is current and turned on. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which enables you to send your communications through a separate and secure private network even while you are on a public network.