The time has finally come. You’ve been waiting all year, carefully scrimping and saving your extra dimes and pennies to stack up a sizeable set of chips on your favorite gaming table at Caesar’s Palace. Whether you’re playing in Vegas or visiting the Atlantic City location, Caesar’s Palace is one of the longest standing casino operations in the United States, rich with history and packed to the brim with tons for you and your family to enjoy.
But did you know that casinos can be one of the number one locations where hackers try and steal your sensitive information? That’s right: withover 42 million tourists running up and down the Vegas strip each year, this vacation destination is a veritable buffet of unsecured devices to choose from. And just like you like to get your money’s worth at the Caesars buffet, hackers will always attack any location where they know they’re going to attract the most potential victims for their next attack.
So how can you protect yourself and your family from falling prey to these problems? Read on in our guide to using a VPN on public hotel WiFi find out!
Gambling With Your Privacy
To start, it helps to know why big tourist attractions like casinos (specifically those in Las Vegas) like Caesar’s Palace are so much more vulnerable to being attacked than most other locations.
Although whenever you get hacked it might feel like it’s happening to you specifically for some reason, in general hackers don’t really care who they hack or why - they just go for the easiest mark they can find who has the most money to lose.
Where else have you heard these kinds of targeting techniques? That’s right: casinos. Casinos are a huge boon for hackers because upwards of 95% of the people who sign into hotel WiFi networks at a casino are there to gamble, which means they came prepared with a lot of money stored up in their bank account to play with on the tables or slot machines.
Someone who has a lot of money currently sitting in their account, is on vacation away from home, and are signing in to any network they can find in range in order to avoid data roaming charges are like the perfect trifecta for a hacker to target. Using simple social engineering tools (several of which we’ve described in previous articles), hackers can easily find a way into your mobile devices like your smartphone or laptop by setting up fake networks on the gaming floor or even in one of the many restaurants that Caesar’s Palace has to offer.
With so many out-of-towners looking for a free connection, all it takes is one or two “whales” (people with huge sums of money to gamble away) to completely fund that hacker’s vacation days for the next ten years in a row. But how do they do it exactly, and what can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen to you?
Public WiFi: an Enemy Unseen
Probably the most popular method that hackers prefer to use to get your personal information doesn’t involved brute-forcing through a hotel network or cracking your online passwords with some complicated algorithm. Instead, it’s just about fooling regular tourists in search of a WiFi hotspot into connecting to a malicious network setup by the hacker ahead of time, known as a “man-in-the-middle attack”.
MiTM attacks work by tricking average users into signing into a WiFi network that doesn’t actually belong to the hotel where those vacationers are staying. In reality the public WiFi you thought was for “Caesar’s-Palace-WiFi” was actually “Caesars-Palace-WiFi”, exploiting a common typo in order to get unsuspecting tourists to hand over all their sensitive information.
Once the user is signed into the fake network, any activity they run through on that network (like say, transferring more money from their savings account to checking after a bad night on the floor) via an online banking login will be seen by the hacker who’s monitoring that connection.
After they have your online banking information or credit card details, it could only be a matter of moments before your entire bank account is bled dry. It is considered bad etiquette to pull out your cell phone while you’re gaming on a table, so unless you’re constantly checking your notification center (for say, fraud in your account), it could be hours before you’re back to your room and can understand the full scope of what’s going on.
Hackers rely on you being free and loose with your money while you’re on vacation at a casino like Caesar’s Palace, and even if they don’t try to empty your account all at once, they could still find a way to make off with a couple hundred or thousand that you wouldn’t notice until you wiped the haze out of your eyes from the night before.
How Can VPN.com Help?
A VPN prevents these attacks from happening before they even start, regardless of what network you’re signed into.
When you employ the services of a VPN recommended by VPN.com, you’re ensuring that all the information transmitted to and from your device is secured behind a wall of 256-bit AES encryption. This encryption jumbles up important details like credit card numbers and online banking data before it leaves your device, which in so many ways effectively stops a man-in-the-middle attack from working right in its tracks.
With a server located just one state over in California, you can be sure that your connection isn’t just encrypted, but that it’s fast too. Whether you’re trying to bet the farm on a sure hand and want to transfer some more funds, or just want to set up a couple’s massage date for you and your significant other to decompress from the kids, a VPN is the best possible way to guarantee that you won’t be left stranded on the side of the road with your thumb out, leaving Las Vegas with your pockets turned out all at the hands of a two-bit hacker.