Travelers worried about those handy free Wi-Fi hotspots at airports or coffee houses being increasingly targeted by hackers have a new no-cost option to protect their personal data and communications, thanks to a California Internet security company.
Virtual World Computing is introducing a new layer to its cloud-based flagship “Cocoon” security software that automatically encrypts those hotspot communications. While logged into Cocoon, the user’s online activities are routed through what engineers describe as a “secure tunnel” to a safe server that blocks would-be thieves. The free software is available now at www.getcocoon.com.
“Travel troubles used to mean flight delays, hotel reservation problems, lost luggage or maybe a stolen laptop. But now, we must worry about data being stolen while the computer sits right in front of us,” said Jeff Bermant, CEO and co-founder of Virtual World Computing. “Few travelers realize how easy it is for criminals to hack into their computers while on open Wi-Fi networks.”
Bermant, who helped launch Virtual World Computing after his own experience with a security breach, also warns that even if a hotspot is password protected, it does not automatically mean it is secure.
Free hotspots have become famously easy pickings for hackers setting up fake free Wi-Fi hotspots that look like the real thing (aka an “Evil Twin”). When an unsuspecting user logs on, what they are connecting to isn’t a real hotspot – it’s the hacker’s laptop. Once that happens, the hacker can use free software from the Internet (such as Firesheep, WiFi Pineapple and WiFi Robin) to hijack much of the information sent to and from the victim’s laptop.
That means everything from personal information, to usernames and passwords, and confidential business documents can be at risk.
About Cocoon by Virtual World Computing:
Virtual World Computing introduced a new layer to its acclaimed free Cocoon Internet privacy and security software. Operating in the cloud, the Cocoon service provides safety to anyone utilizing Wi-Fi for an Internet connection. While logged in to Cocoon, your online activities will be encrypted, creating a secure tunnel between you and our safe server to protect your information from being hacked by thieves, a quickly growing problem. The software will be immediately available for users of the company’s free Firefox plug-in and soon will be available in an Internet Explorer version.
VWC’s core business model is built on ensuring the highest levels of privacy, security and protection. The company’s flagship product, Cocoon, provides consumers with a better way to browse with greater privacy protection, computer security and browsing convenience. Cocoon puts the user in control of the Internet experience by ensuring that their computer and personal information are protected from malicious attacks, unwanted spam or phishing, cookie tracking and many other invasions of privacy.