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Hey everyone. If you’re like me, you love your Android-powered smartphone. If you’re lucky to have a great data plan, you probably won’t stop watching, reading, and accessing websites. You may even tether your computer to your phone!
But did you know that many problems plague Wi-Fi networks? And did you know your Android phone may be susceptible to yet-undiscovered problems with security? Did you even know how Wi-Fi affects battery?
That’s why I wrote this post.
#1: Wi-Fi drains the battery, and you’re likely to not be needing it.
So, let’s think about this. How often are you driving? Do you visit many places in a day, or only a few? If you’re not on the streets or road often, why would you leave GPS on? And this follows: If you’re not using the internet, why would you leave Wi-Fi on?
Let’s face it. You either want to browse the net or email for a specific period of time, or suddenly when it hits you. When you’re with the former, it’s easy to turn Wi-Fi on if there’re networks nearby. But with the latter, you can’t rely upon wireless. So, if you have a data plan, why even need to use a local Wi-Fi?
#2: Accessing an unsecured Wi-Fi network is asking to be violated.
Did you know that black-hat hackers can steal your login privileges if they’re on an unsecured network with you? It’s really easy. Everything you do with an unsecured network is shouted over the airwaves. Furthermore, a lot of websites don’t use https:// encryption. So, imagine: you’re shouting your password in a non-encrypted format, and then the website shouts back all the login settings and passes. All somebody has to do is be listening to hear it all.
Furthermore, even savvier hackers may set up a lure by creating their own fake, wireless networks. It’s like telling the robber your PIN and Bank Account # while thinking he’s a bank teller. And then telling him your Facebook password. And so on.
This last paragraph is where #3 comes in.
#3: A recently-discovered vulnerability affects 99% of running Android operating systems– only 1% of phones have the security update.
I just recently found out about this, and it cements my belief in never trusting a network besides Sprint’s. To reiterate, 99% of running Android phones have an un-updated vulnerability in the Android OS.
What’s the bug? In summation, when you connect to a wireless network, your phone checks for all its updates through it. This means to access Facebook updates or GMail updates, your phone sends the GMail or FB credentials across this network. This could make sense on a network you trust. However, Google found a way to prevent such a leak and applied it to an update to the Android operating system.
Only problem is, 99% of Android phones have yet to get this update from their phone’s manufacturer.
In summation, what can you do to avoid snafus with wireless networks? Don’t trust them. Especially with the wallet of the future– your phone.