ST. PETERSBURG — Yet another technology exploit could leave your sensitive information at risk to hackers.
Any device you have that connects to WiFi could be affected.
We're talking your cell phone, your Mac, your PC — any smart home device hooked up to your WiFi — even your WiFi Router itself could be putting your personal information at risk to snooping hackers.
“You are vulnerable for somebody listening to your conversation, seeing your messages, your pictures, your emails,” said Abacode Cybersecurity Chief Technology Officer Jeremy Rasmussen.
It's all because of a fatal flaw in the security you've relied on for WiFi protection for more than a decade.
“So a lot of times when you go to connect to a wireless network you see the little lock on it, you think it's safe from eavesdropping...not so much anymore,” Rasmussen said.
In fact - now that this exploit has been pointed out - he says a password protected wifi network is at just as risky for your personal data as the open network you can connect to at your local coffee shop.
“It really affects all wireless devices and it's devastating in its widespread effect,” Rasmussen said.
So here's what you can do about it.
Check your phone for a software update right now. If you have one, download and install it.
The researchers who found the security flaw warned big tech companies months ago so they could make a fix.
Same goes for your computer -- check for and download security updates.
But here's the tricky part. Your router - the thing that makes the internet wireless in your home - needs to be updated too.
Check your manual or Google your router's instructions on how to check for an update.
But be prepared to wait:
“Some of the routers - the wireless devices themselves - are unpatched. So just be vigilant. Constantly look to make sure that when an update is available, you get it and install it as soon as possible,” Rasmussen said.