We have warned several times of the dangers of using public Wi-Fi networks (e.g., “I Spy Your Wi-Fi” from September 2018 and March 2020). For iPhone users, a newly-detected vulnerability risked serious damage to your phone’s Wi-Fi function.

A security researcher, Carl Schou, recently discovered that specific Wi-Fi networks containing “%” in their names could disable, sometimes permanently, the Wi-Fi function on iPhones and other devices running Apple’s operating system (iOS). To read more, check out articles on Gizmodo, The Verge or Tech Times. On July 21, MacRumors reported that Apple’s recently-applied security updates included one addressing the Wi-Fi exposure peril.

So how can Appleficionados and Android Addicts avoid malevolent Wi-Fi forays? Our advice remains unchanged – turn off Wi-Fi when you leave your house or other secure Wi-Fi location, disable any auto-connect Wi-Fi function, and make certain the “Ask” option in your “Ask to Join Networks” and “Auto-Join Hotspot” features are selected.

Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.