Public Wi-Fi in Airports and on Airlines: Tips From Leading Service Provider Ensuring Secure Wireless Networks

The demand for Internet access in airports and aboard passenger aircrafts is on the rise. To remain competitive, many air carriers are offering travelers appealing options. Most passengers are interested in accessing the Internet at high speeds and streaming online videos.

These services provide the following benefits for travelers:

  • Ways to pass the time while waiting in the airport or in flight
  • Options for sending fast messages and remaining connected
  • Means for finding directions to hotels and other places of interest

When travelers are on the go and in transit, they need instant access to public Internet services. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Responding to business email messages and other important requests
  • Updating family members about travel progress or changes
  • Alerting colleagues or friends waiting to help with pick-ups at destinations

Flying the Wi-Fi Skies

An ongoing priority for Wi-Fi in airports and on airlines is the need for secure wireless services. As the situation stands these days, Internet security in public Wi-Fi hotspots such as airports, cafes and hotels can present privacy issues for users. Security analysts have indicated that air travelers are particularly subject to vulnerabilities.

Cyber-criminals are known to prowl public Wi-Fi hotspots in popular cafes and other public spaces. However, some customers who connect to these networks may do so for a only a few minutes. As a result, malicious hackers have a small window of opportunity to ply their nefarious trade.

On the other hand, international flights take many hours, giving hackers plenty of time to target their victims on networks that aren’t secure. One scenario for airlines that provide Wi-Fi to their passengers would be a cybercriminal boarding a flight with a hardware device configured to spoof a Wi-Fi gateway. This type of device can be:

  • Tucked into a suitcase stowed away in the overhead compartment
  • Enabled for a malicious hacker to access a Web interface to spy on the browsing sessions of passengers
  • Used to access passengers’ hard drives or flash storage devices

Enhancing Network Security With Help From Experts

If passengers are being hacked while using public Wi-Fi, they may lodge a complaint on social media. To avoid this type of problem, airports and airlines should choose a reliable Managed Service Provider (MSP) to handle their network security. This first step is the most important to:

  • Protect passengers’ privacy
  • Uphold respected company reputations
  • Discourage misuse of free wireless services

Safety NetAccess has an experienced team who provides secure wireless networks. Some of our recommendations include:

  • MSP configurations restricting peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic
  • Strong password policies
  • Internet traffic monitoring to detect and control malicious acts

Education is another strategy that airlines can apply so that their in-flight Wi-Fi is safe for their passengers. Just like the safety briefing that flight attendants give before takeoff, airlines should also offer information about in-flight browsing security. Here are some additional recommendations:

  • Use of virtual private networks (VPN) and file encryption
  • Public network settings on computer operating systems
  • Activation of proper security configurations
  • Antivirus programs on laptops, tablets and smartphones

Would you like more information about secure Wi-Fi networks in airports, cafes, hotels and other public spaces? Contact Safety NetAccess now!