Are you considering connecting to an airport, local café, etc., to enjoy the free public Wi-Fi network? In WPA2, the encryption protocol ensures all modern Wi-Fi networks. Still, the huge flaw is that it allows anybody close to you an opportunity to quickly access your information by using a Wi-Fi network. This includes information that has been understood to be encrypted. Wi-Fi standards today are inadequate and should not be trusted.
The ability of hackers to place themselves between you and the connection point is one of the greatest threats to free Wi-Fi. So you ultimately transmit your information to the hacker when you connect the hotspot directly. The hacker also gets access to all the information you provide - emails, telephone numbers, credit card information, business data, and so on. And once a hacker gets the data, you essentially give them the keys to the kingdom.
Despite many warnings, headlines, and educational initiatives, many individuals still don't understand why public Wi-Fi is dangerous, no matter what you do online. And although you may think, "Okay, I don't check my personal email or log into my bank account, I just check the sports scores," remember anything that you do on a public Wi-Fi network is not safe. In this article, we will discuss why you should not use public Wi-Fi and give a few suggestions for using public Wi-Fi.
Why is Public Wi-Fi Dangerous?
Now we will discuss a few reasons why anyone should not connect to public Wi-Fi.
1. Hacker needs your email address and password
What can hackers see on public Wi-Fi? We usually use the same email address for all online purposes. This presents an issue since when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, a hacker just needs to obtain your email address and password. They may ask for forgotten passwords from the websites you are visiting, which are then delivered to the email in the hacker's hands. Some hackers employ a type of Bcc just for themselves till your pipeline is useful in something wonderful.
2. Man-in-the-middle type attack
One of the most frequent kinds of Wi-Fi security risks is man-in-the-middle type attacks (MitM or MiM). Hackers intercept data via eavesdropping methods. Attackers intercept and relay communications between two parties. It seems as though everything is normal, but the attacker controls the whole connection.
3. Attack of the clone websites
Another popular technique for hackers is to transfer your traffic to a cloned website. This is known as DNS spoofing, and users may simply connect to a legit site. Without being aware, you just gave your login details to an attacker voluntarily.
4. Shoulder surfing
Hackers may even go old school with their attacks. You simply set up shop and look over your shoulder someplace in public so that they may steal your login information. This may not be that frequent, but it's certainly an overlooked approach since cyber protection is so focused.
5. Rogue Wi-Fi networks
Suppose you connect to public Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi connection in locations like a park or an airport. In that case, hackers are waiting to gain illegal access to your information since these networks seem legit. Hackers now have access to your sensitive data when you connect to these fake networks.
6. Criminal activity
The ability to change particular words or images on a website is also a hacker technique. This may not sound like that big issue, but as an "ethical hacker," Wouter Slotboom stated that a nefarious person might do things like install child pornography onto your smartphone. Of course, that's a severe offense. This kind of behavior leaves a print such that you get customized feeds for improved user experience from some terrible sites. That’s why you should not use public Wi-Fi.
How to protect yourself when you are connected to a public Wi-Fi
If you are in a scenario where you must connect to public Wi-Fi (first check if you need to login), here are a few suggestions for improving your safety:
1. Access Websites with SSL certificate
You're not entirely fortunate if you don't have access to a VPN. You may add an encryption layer to your connection. Enable the "Always using HTTPS" option for websites you often visit, including any sites you want to put in any kind of credentials while surfing the internet. The "HTTPS" option is somewhere in their settings on most websites, requiring an account or credentials.
2. Use VPN
A VPN enables you to establish a secure Internet connection to another network. VPN has many features that may be used to access regionally restricted websites, protect your browsing activities from public Wi-Fi, and more. VPNs are a great choice for public Wi-Fi networks. Although they cost some money, it is definitely worth the peace of mind and extra protection. Moreover, most companies will enable their workers to connect to a VPN network. While staff are on the move and must have access to Wi-Fi networks to perform their job, the business’s data is quite risky if they use a public network. If you are looking for a sustainable no log VPN, you can try out VeePN. The features from VeePN VPN will amaze you. To avoid phishing websites, stay away from botnet control, and omit pop-up ads, you can use VeePN’s Netguard Adblock.
3. Do not access any of your personally identifiable information (PII)
When you use information through a free Wi-Fi network, you don't regard it as valuable. Thus, if you need to use free Wi-Fi, avoid accessing any PII at any cost, including banking information, social security numbers, and home addresses. Please note that some accounts require you to provide phone numbers when you sign up, so even if you don't remember entering it, access to personal data may unintentionally be permitted.
There may be situations in which your only option is an unprotected, free public Wi-Fi connection. If this is the case, these suggestions may protect you from falling prey to an attack to grasp the dangers of public Wi-Fi. However, it is now time for people and companies to consider more seriously the risks connected with our increasing usage of public Wi-Fi networks. These measures are simple, reasonably cost-effective, and can prevent you from huge data theft both at home and at business.
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