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RCMP warns Wi-Fi users to be aware of 'honeypots'

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has issued a news release warning the public that there are fake wireless networks that are claiming to be from the RCMP and want to remind you to protect yourself when accessing public Wi-Fi networks.

WiFi symbol — Screen capture
WiFi symbol — Screen capture

Wi-Fi networks with names that may appear to represent first responder networks such as police, fire or paramedics and are unsecured are more than likely a Wi-Fi honeypot (a social engineering scam similar to phishing).

A honeypot is created for the purpose of enticing curious clients to connect to the network. Once connected, the person that set up the network can access your device, the news release warns.

Once access is gained, it may be possible for them to obtain your personal information or control various components of your device such as cameras or microphones.

Ensure you stick to wireless networks and hotspots that you know in order to avoid the potential connection to a honeypot, the release sates.

When setting up your own Wi-Fi network it is important to protect it from unwanted users by:

• Setting a strong password

• Limiting access to specific authorized computers or devices

• Restricting the broadcast of the Wi-Fi name so only authorized users are able to sign in.

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