Comcast & Pop-Up Ads: The Price of Open Wi-Fi Hotspots

Comcast & Pop-Up Ads

Comcast Wi-Fi Hotspots Come With Pop-Up Ads

The dangers of open Wi-Fi hotspots are legion, and we at FlashRouters have done our best to keep you informed about these dangers and how they can affect your security.

Compared to the usual threats that attend hotspot usage (the vulnerability of your online activities, including e-mails and credit card numbers), the issue we’re raising today is admittedly mild, but it’s worth knowing about nonetheless.

Comcast Pop-Up Ads for Wi-Fi Hotspots

According to PC World, Comcast has been adding pop-up ads to your internet experience, should you happen to connect an Xfinity public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Comcast claims the purpose of these pop-ups are to assure users that they’re connected to a legitimate Comcast hotspot, and not some malevolent local Wi-Fi connection designed to look like a hotspot.

That’s all well and good, in theory, but it does seem awfully convenient that Comcast sees the need to ramp up the security around their hotspots with ads for Xfinity mobile apps. Plus, these pop-up ads can create further security issues for public Wi-Fi users by adding Javascript to websites where that code isn’t typically involved, something that a hacker can exploit if they so choose.

How to Avoid Comcast’s Open Wi-Fi Hotspot Pop-Ups

As usual, FlashRouters advocates using VPNs whenever you’re connected to a public network (or any time you want extra security around your home network. Check out our list of officially supported providers if you want to get a sense of the right VPN service for you.

Otherwise, we recommend taking the suggestion of PC World, which involves “forcing your browser to connect to websites using HTTPS via a browser extension such as The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s HTTPS Everywhere for Chrome and Firefox. This removes the opportunity for Comcast to slip its ads into the web content you’re viewing midstream, though not all websites support encrypted connections.”

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