By The Onset
Return to main

Free Wifi . . . Is it really worth it???

As a global recruiter of security professionals, Las Vegas has always been on the bucket list and this week I am incredibly excited to be attending DEF CON, Black Hat and Bsides.

As a Vegas security conference “novice”, I approached the last few weeks with excitement and I am grateful for all the advice I have been given by my contacts in the Australian security community.

Since here in person, I have been advised by a number of conference veterans on “how to survive black hat” and the “Top 5 things to do (and not to do) in Vegas”. Whilst many are here to sharpen their skills or make new connections,  it’s obvious that some also come for the conference and stay for … well, all things Vegas.

The consistent piece of advice that I have been given by just about everyone I have spoken to is “not to log on to wifi” ANYWHERE. Now, in my defence (even as a novice), I know the conference venues will be a hive of activity and opportunity for the hacking community to show off their wares, but I was surprised to learn that most major hotels, shopping centres and even the Las Vegas airport are “open targets” during the weeks surrounding the conference.

The topic of “free wifi” and what it actually means to both the public and the provider got me thinking; “just how many users really understand the risks of accessing “free wifi” The list of free public hotspots is endless and the majority of people, particularly young people, will access a wifi connection anywhere, anytime without a seconds thought. It begs the question, “Is anything really free?” and should prompt us to consider what are the real issues with accessing (personal or browsing) online information via a service run and accessed by people unknown.

In a recent article from The Register, I was surprised to read just how easy it is for a hacker to break into a private wireless network. I also appreciated the tips around securing my work and private laptops.

What also surprises me is that this isn’t just a concern for teenagers hanging out in their local malls or unwitting students. You only have to look at the recent Republican convention in the US where over a 1200 people logged on to the free Wi-Fi network labelled “I vote Trump! free Internet.” without fully understanding or appreciating the risks of doing so. As an aside – I couldnt believe that out of the 68% of users compromised through the fake wifi; only 5% were playing Pokeman go!

I should point out that not every Internet café, shopping centre, hotel or public space is littered with hackers wanting to steal your info, but do you really want all your sensitive information in the wrong hands?” I know I don’t!

So, to protect yourself from appearing on the “wall of sheep” please consider the following tips:

  • Don’t join wifi networks you can’t trust. Use international roaming with an international 3G data card or package from your Australian/National Telco. Or use a VPN when needing to jump online. You can also change the settings on your phone so that wifi and Bluetooth are turned off.
  • Make sure you have RFID anti skimming software or a debit/credit block card in your wallet. Better still, leave your wallet and ID in the hotel safe and operate with cash where you can.
  • Tell no one where you’re staying and never share your room number.
  • And finally, sign up to every vendor party you can find; it’s the best way to drink for free!

After some soul searching I have decided to ditch the burner phone, but I am still brining the tin foil hat.

Wish me luck!

Russell Gallagher

Want to connect to the best tech talent? Speak with us

Speak with us
What our
clients say

“Ronny & the Onset Group helped us scale our team in the early stages of our growth, finding a number of talented engineering candidates to join our Development team. The Onset Group are highly professional and a pleasure to work with.”

Georgia Punch HR & Operations

“IPG Mediabrands have built a solid, trusting working relationship with the Onset Group over the past few years. We are very selective on who we partner with regarding our recruitment needs. The Onset Group have proven time and time again, they absolutely deserve a spot on our PSA. They understand our business, they deliver, they follow up, they’re smart and they are professional.”

Lisa Gray Head of Human Resources

“I’ve worked in the product community in Sydney for just 3 years and the Onset are my go-to folk for product talent (and opportunities). Once in my role I worked with the team at Onset to build out my product team of 6 over the next year. So I’ve experienced the quality and expertise from both sides of the engagement.”

Jennifer Flynn Group Manager, Product Management

“Working with The Onset was fantastic. They spent the time with me up front on understanding not only the requirements of the role but also the qualities and skill sets needed to fill the role well. The candidates provided were really strong and led to hires who have not only helped us fill roles but also enhance our overall company culture by introducing us to top quality candidates. Thanks Onset!”

Yaniv Klein Product Director

“We partnered with The Onset, a leading IT recruitment agency, explained the journey we were on, and asked them to sell our vision to the Sydney market in our search for high quality developers. It was important that the people we chose not only had high technical skills but were a good cultural fit and understood where oOh! was going”

Andy McQuarrie Chief Technology Officer

“…by taking time to understand our unique hiring requirements, both from the start and as our needs have evolved. At Digital Asset, we’re looking for engineers and product managers with a specialized mix of skills and industry experience, for example, a strong background in financial services, or knowledge of functional programming languages. Onset has helped us find experienced candidates who are not only highly qualified but also inspired to work with a firm like ours”

Drew Harding Senior Delivery Manager

“We partnered exclusively with The Onset to build our capability across engineering, product and design. It is rare to partner with a services provider and feel comfortable with them representing you and your brand but that is exactly what happened with The Onset. They understood what we looked for in talent, helped us nurture it and ultimately create a team that allowed us to modernise our offering and launch a second brand from the ground up.”

Jeremy Gupta Chief Technology Officer

“In addition to running the search and recruitment process they helped us to shape the role and were able to guide us through what was happening in the market and the experiences of other high growth companies.”

Rachel Debeck Chief Operating Officer

“We have been working with the Onset Group for the past few years, helping us secure both contract and permanent staff across multiple technical areas. They always ensure they have our business’ needs in mind and it’s great working with a partner that truly understands the technical space that we are in. Of all of the recruiters I have met or worked with over the years, I couldn’t recommend this group any more.”

Paul Madani Head of Data and Technology

Onset has been partnering with Haventec for over three years. The team at Onset have the great ability to connect with our team and understand our business and culture to be able to place employees that fit our team like a glove. It takes great talent to recognise the unique needs of each business and to be able to deliver on them so well

Edora David Business Operations Manager

It was a pleasure working with Danielle to source a full stack developer for our company. She put real effort into understanding what we were looking for and helped us find the right candidate. Plus helped us find the first female developer!

Antony Francis Team Lead

Leading businesses connect with the best tech talent, with The Onset


Check out what we've been up to on social


Welcoming the latest member to join The Onset! Reema started her recruitment journey in 2010 and has specialised in recruiting for a range of technology based roles. Here at The Onset, Reema will join the team with a focus on .Net contract roles.

Contact Reema today to find your next opportunity by calling her on 0499 332 019 or email her at

#sydneyjobs #techrecruitment #theonset #softwareengineering #recruitment #jobopportunities

The Onset crew enjoying some post race bevvies and afternoon sun 🏇☀️ #melbournecup #team ...

The Onset girls getting through hump day with lunch and bubbles 🥂 ...

Welcoming Barbara to our Embedded Software team here at The Onset. She specialises in C, C++ and Assembly.

Looking for a new opportunity? Find out what's out there for you now by contacting Barbara on 0414 048 936 or

#embeddedsoftware #opportunities #recruitmentnews #sydneyjobs #c++ #c

1 in 5 people each year experience a form of mental illness, which means it's very likely that someone in your business could be affected right now. Have you thought about how you are equipped to support them?

It's mental health awareness month and time to tune into others and importantly our own self care and mental well being.

Black Dog Institute is offering free online workshops and training for small to medium business in NSW to promote the implementation of wellbeing strategies and reduce the stigma of mental health in the workplace. Check it out here -

#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness

Introducing Sasha to the Onset team! Sasha joins us recruiting for Software Engineering roles specialising in Java.

Get in touch to find out what opportunities are out there for you on 0435 026 648 or

#softwareengineering #java #recruitmentadvice #sydneyjobs #recruitmentnews

Introducing Alyse who has just joined The Onset in the marketing and operations team!

She will be a part of building the Onset brand and see the smooth running of the office including supporting our amazing consultants.

Get in touch today if you have any queries about The Onset or want to know more about your next opportunity. Call us on 0438 706 627.

Last week we celebrated The Onset's 5th Birthday! It was a fun filled evening reflecting on the achievements of the team and some of our visions for the future.
We want to say a big thank you to all of our clients and candidates who have been on the journey with us so far and we look forward to the years to come!
Cheers 🍾

Danielle recently joined our software engineering team at The Onset, where she specialises in backend technologies for contract and permanent roles.

She's your go to if you're experienced in .NET, C#, Java or PHP. If you're looking for your next role in one of Sydney's leading startups then get in touch, 0435 762 005.

Welcome Danielle!

#softwareengineering #recruitment #opportunities #sydneyjobs #recruiting #backendengineering #theonset #jobopportunities #java # engineering #jobs #recruiter #php

Give a huge Onset Welcome to Mikky Hughes!

We are absolutely delighted to have Mikky join the team as our Associate Account Manager for Information Security. We can’t wait for you to meet her!

Why not get in touch to find out what opportunities are out there for you on 0419 044 837 or

#informationsecurity #recruitmentnews #opportunities #sydneyjobs #getstarted #recruitmentadvice

Thanks team for this morning's incredible spread!



Ready to connect with the best recruiters in the industry? (you know you want to)

Get in touch

Prefer to chat? Give us a call on 0438 706 627