Computer hackers have easy pickings with wireless network connections at coffee houses and bookstores, warned Sen. Charles Schumer Sunday.
Major websites should speed the move to more secure web addresses to protect users from stealing personal data at public WiFi hot spots, the senator said.
He called it a "one stop shopping for identity theft."
The key to safer surfing is using URL's beginning with ``https,'' rather than the traditional ``http,'' he said. Some websites offer the more secure URL, but the user has to adjust the settings.
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A secure site also carries a small padlock icon.
Schumer says hackers have stolen personal information and, after slipping into a recently used web page, pose as the victim. The result can be purchases and bogus postings.
He scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference on this Sunday at a coffee shop.