Recently I visited my dental office and noticed a Wi-Fi configuration I haven't seen before. First, there is unsecured (no password) Wi-Fi, but I cannot surf the web yet. I am redirected to a webpage where I see 2 buttons (Facebook and Twitter) to choose from for authentication in order to fully access the internet. I declined to click on any over the unsecured network. As far as I know, my activity can be sniffed while I am on such a network. On the other hand, if I am not mistaken, social network authentication is considered relatively safe. So the question comes, is it safe to merge those two? Is there a risk of my password being sniffed? I also think that it poses a risk on disclosure of personal patient data if that is stored in the same network.
One of the points of social media login is to avoid password entry by resuing your existing loggged-in state with the social media.
If you have not already logged in to the social media site in your browser, simply do that over mobile connection and then connect to this wifi.
Some social media may want to verify your password before you can approve an association, but they will almost always pre-fill the username and may even display your profile picture. This is currently not possible with normal phishing. And as always, check HTTPS and the domain in the address bar before entering the password.
WPA protects against casually plucking your data out of the air on the way to the Wi-Fi router. It has nothing to do with the end-to-end security that Facebook and Twitter uses (HTTPS). Also, logging in this way does not grant them the ability to directly observe your username or password. All they get is a unique token that identifies your account, plus whatever information you explicitly grant access to. Overall, it's an exceptionally safe system. You can even revoke access to their Wi-Fi "app" later from the security / apps section of the relevant social network. If they had WPA encryption, you'd actually have your data encrypted twice up to the Wi-Fi router, once by WPA, and a second time by HTTPS. After it hits the router, WPA no longer applies, but the HTTPS continues all the way to the social network's servers.