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Consumers should not use public Wi-Fi networks to conduct sensitive financial transactions on their mobile devices, as the networks are open to abuse, Eurobol's cybercrime division has warned.

Troels Oerting, head of the department, says his organisation has witnessed a significant increase in the misuse of public wireless networks, with many hackers targeting them in order to steal personal and financial information.

In some instances, hackers are setting up fake hotspots with similar names to public networks, which some people will connect to without verifying their legitimacy.

Mr Oerting advised: "We should teach users that they should not address sensitive information while being on an open insecure Wi-Fi internet connection. They should do this from home where they know the Wi-Fi and its security, but not if you are in a coffee shop somewhere you shouldn’t access your bank or do all of these things that actually transfer very sensitive information."

He added that several steps can be taken to reduce the risk of being attacked by cybercriminals, such as ensuring that computer security settings do not allow remote users access to files, and purchasing a trustworthy Virtual Private Network that means data is travelling over a known network, rather than a public access point.

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