How Safe is Using Public Wi-Fi?
- Open public Wi-Fi doesn’t have an encrypted connection. So any ail-minded cyber specialist can easily spy on you and steal your valuable data while using public Wi-Fi.
- Malware can be easily injected into these insecure open networks and thereby into your device connected to the network.
- The best way to protect yourself from these threats is by using a good VPN connection that anonymizes your online activity by creating an encrypted tunnel.
Open Public Wi-Fi and Unlimited free data!! What else is needed yet? Beware, using a public Wi-Fi can drain you up in a devastating way!!
Here’s the why you should avoid using public Wi-Fi
- Unencrypted connection – Since the Wi-Fi connections are not limited by wires. A lot of users can easily access the internet by connecting to an open public Wi-Fi. These open networks don’t use an encrypted connection. As a result, users are easily vulnerable to attacks. Since, the open hotspots offer easy prey, hackers, snoopers, man-in-the-middle attackers are quite attracted by these networks.
- Personal Data leakage – These unsecured Public Wi-Fi can be an easy target for hackers or snoopers to steal your personal data. It’s significant to understand what data can they snatch and how revealing these data can be. The following information can be at stake while using such a network.
• Your location
• Websites you are surfing
• Personal messages including your emails, chats, and other messages.
• Media files i.e. the videos, photos you share
• Persons you are communicating with.
• Passwords and other sensitive information.
• Transactional credentials including the bank account details and passwords regarding it.
• Login credentials of various websites.
All these aren’t just hyped!! There are several incidents and reports across the globe of users connecting to an insecure public Wi-Fi and often ending up with severe consequences.
The following are the most vulnerable security threats while using a public network.
- Hackers/ Snoops – Hackers/snoops can easily infiltrate into an unsecured public Wi-Fi and easily access sensitive information about you and collect your personal details. Think hacking is difficult? Think again. Nowadays, it’s pretty much easy with the tools found in Dark Web.
- Man-in-the-middle attack – This type of attack takes place when a malignant individual (hacker) intercepts the communication between two individuals and inserts themselves into the conversation. The culprit then can access all the real-time messages and media files including photos and videos and steal all the personal data without making the sender or receiver aware of it.
- Malware attacks – Malware can be easily injected into these insecure open networks and thereby into your device connected to the network. These malware attacks are one of the most dangerous attacks. When injected into your device, it can give access to everything in your device.
- Fake hotspots/networks – Fake networks/hotspots are set up by some crooks. They use a name close to a legitimate network and use it as bait for the people. Thus, they trick users to connect with it and they become easily vulnerable to snooping leading the snatching of their personal data.
- Bait networks – Sometimes, the Wi-Fi connection providers allure the users to use it for free and collect and sell their personal information. For instance, such an incident occurred in Sydney, Australia. The passengers were provided with free onboard public Wi-Fi and thus, these become serious privacy loopholes.
What is the solution?
So, the best resolution for all these threats is using a good VPN connection. VPN anonymizes the online activity of the user by creating an encrypted tunnel. Check out more through What are VPNs, its advantages, how to have a VPN connection?