With mobile phones in almost every pocket today, the payphone has lost its usefulness for perhaps everyone – except maybe Clark Kent. This is why New York City held a competition looking for the best ideas to make appropriate use of this valuable real-estate spread throughout the city.About a year after the contest winner was announced, the city began transforming phone booths into free gigabit Wi-Fi hotspots through the LinkNYC project.The impact of this project could be monumental for New Yorkers not just with reduced cellular data charges but also reduced security, depending on how they use the service.Anyone familiar with the security risks of using open Wi-Fi networks might breathe a sigh of relief to hear that LinkNYC offers the option to use encryption. It is well-known that without proper encryption, anyone within radio range can potentially siphon private data out of thin air.The use of unprotected wireless networks also exposes users to rogue access points like the Pineapple Wi-Fi that can simulate probed networks and lure devices onto an untrusted network.Known as a KARMA attack, this technique leverages the way Wi-Fi clients broadcast a list of preferred networks. As devices look for familiar AP names, the rogue access point is designed to start advertising all of the preferred names. If any network profile does not use encryption, the device will most likely connect without question. This is why I always give the advice to stay away from open Wi-Fi access points or to at least, immediately delete the connection profile when done using the network.