TRAVEL
08/08/2014 08:00 am ET

Free Wi-Fi Is More Dangerous Than You Think

They're those two magic words every traveler wants to hear or see: "Free Wi-Fi."

What other sort of incentive inspires travelers to actively seek out every Starbucks and McDonald's in a new city? Or contemplate staying in that sketchy hostel or hotel, just for its wireless hotspot?

But free Wi-Fi can come at a scary price. The connection takes place over radio waves, putting travelers at risk of hackers stealing account or username information over insecure connections.

Yes, this can also happen on your Wi-Fi connection at home. However, hackers are more likely to target heavily-used networks, aka those public "free Wi-Fi" hotspots. Every time you use free Internet at a new airport or local cafe, someone can easily steal your personal information.

To remain secure the next time you go abroad, use these five crucial safety tips from Private WiFi to help keep you, your phone and your finances safe online:

7 Useful Travel Apps To Download Before Your Vacation

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