Georgejmclittle/ShutterstockFor any and all Internet skeptics, it’s your worst nightmare come true: Your own Wi-Fi connection might not be safe. WPA2, a security protocol that protects most Wi-Fi routers around the world, has reportedly been breached. (This is the dangerous reason why you should never, ever use public Wi-Fi, either.)
While the details and severity of the situation are unclear at the moment, experts say this could be one of the “biggest online security threats ever.” Your Wi-Fi connection could now be vulnerable to hackers and online attacks—no matter how strong your password is, according to Mashable.
“Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted,” a report by Mathy Vanhoef, a security expert at Belgian university KU Leuven, said. “This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos and so on.”
Concerned about your online security? Don’t panic! “Small businesses and people at home should be concerned, but not too worried,” Symantec researcher Candid Wuest told The Guardian. Wuest recommends updating your software when it becomes available, as well as using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for important matters. Other experts advise not using a Wi-Fi connection at all until the issue is resolved. Follow these tips to protect your privacy online and avoid getting hacked, too.
Plus, there’s some good news: Connections to secure websites should still be safe. And if your protocol doesn’t rely solely on WPA2 encryption, information sent over your network is not in any immediate danger. To protect yourself in the future, brush on up on the most common tricks Internet security hackers use.