Illinois consumers who share personal data or payment information while using public Wi-Fi increase their identity theft risks.

It is understandable why Illinois consumers love their public Wi-Fi. It is, after all, convenient, abundant, and it can save you a ton of money in data costs. However, Illinois internet users should understand that sharing personal information while using public Wi-Fi is absolutely NOT safe. In fact, many experts have compared personal data sharing on public Wi-Fi to just handing your info over to complete strangers. Yet, people still do it all the time. In Illinois and every other state, consumers continue to take identity theft risks by accessing sensitive information online while using public Wi-Fi. Although, maybe if they understood the actual dangers involved, they would guard themselves more carefully.

Why Sharing Personal Info on Public Wi-Fi Puts Ohio Consumers at Risk for Identity Theft

A recent survey revealed that approximately 12% of Americans can get onto a secure Wi-Fi connection through hacking their way in – or simply guessing. If this is true, these same individuals could most likely hack into accounts belonging to Illinois consumers on public Wi-Fi networks. Here are a few online places that you probably want to keep safe from hackers and identity thieves.

Banking and Credit Card Accounts

In the wake of the Equifax data breach of 2017, Illinois consumers are encouraged to regularly check their financial statements. However, it is not recommended that you do this while using public Wi-Fi. Too easily, fraudsters could still your credit card information in order to make fraudulent transactions. They may also snag your password to your bank account and drain the funds.

Social Media Platforms

When thinking of ways to strengthen their online security, a lot of Illinois internet users forget about their social media accounts. Yet, there is a good chance that your name, birthdate, and other personal information shows on at least one social media page. Scammers can take this data and use it to commit synthetic identity theft. Also, a lot of social media users leave clues to their passwords all over their online profiles. Think about it. If a fraudster learns the names of your children, pets, and favorite bands/movies/TV shows, they might guess your passwords.

Payment Websites

Websites like PayPal are treasure troves for Illinois cyberthieves. This is because they store both credit card and bank account information. Of course, PayPal and similar sites are wonderfully convenient when making online purchases. In addition, they are arguably more secure than most retail sites. So, it is fine to setup and take advantage of these payment website. Just avoid using them while connected to public Wi-Fi.

Favorite Online Retailers

No matter where Illinois consumers do their online shopping, there are normally risks involved. Yet, you can minimize these risks by only making purchases on secure websites. It is also a good idea to use credit cards instead of debit cards when paying for items online. Normally, credit cards come with better identity theft protections. Finally, resist the urge to shop online while using public Wi-Fi. Otherwise, you stand to negate any measure you’ve taken to protect your payment data.

Another Way for Illinois Consumers to Protect Themselves Against Identity Theft

The Equifax data breach left about 5.4 million Illinois consumers feeling exposed and vulnerable to identity theft. Still, even now, there are ways to protect your finances and credit scores. Many Illinois residents have elected to freeze their credit reports. Others have opted to sign up for credit monitoring services. However, there are two things that every consumer in Illinois can do – for free – to safeguard their accounts and credit scores against identity theft.

First, you should check your banking and credit card statements as often as possible. If available, sign up for online alerts with your bank and credit card issuers. Next, check your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian at least once every 12 months.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles all consumers to free annual credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. Illinois consumers can easily take advantage of this right by visiting This federally authorized website allows you to request all three credit reports at once.

If, while looking over your credit reports, you find suspicious accounts and transactions, file a police report at your local Illinois station first. You will need a copy of this police report in order to proceed with the credit repair process. Then, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Illinois. The credit pros at our firm deal with creditors and the credit bureaus every day. So, when you call us, one of our excellent credit attorneys will use this expertise to fix your credit reports for free.

The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit After Identity Theft

Don’t let identity theft damage on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (855) 956-2089 or sending him a message through our contact page.

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