Dangers Of Public Wi-Fi : How To Protect Yourself

Public wi-fi is found almost everywhere. It gives you the ability to work remotely in hotels, coffee shops, restaurants and different public places. Providing you with a convenient way to quickly access the internet. However there are many dangers when using public wi-fi that many users are totally unaware of making it not safe at all. When you log into a wifi hotspot you can open yourself to the many dangers of public wi-fi. Making you vulnerable to losing your sensitive data to hackers.

What Makes Public Wi-fi unsafe?

Wi-Fi is such a technology which is heavily prone to cyber attacks. Since radio waves transmit the signals and users get the connection, it allows the hackers to overhear on your information. In the same way as someone eavesdropping your conversation you won’t be able to know its even happening. The openness of the public Wi-Fi is what makes it dangerous. Basically, public Wi-Fi is a open network connection that does not require any login credentials to access into the connection. Therefore making them desirable to hackers, looking to exploit devices within the network.

When using public Wi-Fi you risk the following information abused:

  • Your IP address
  • Your online web browser history
  • Your sensitive personal information like bank credentials, social accounts, passwords, etc.
  • Your personal e-mails and messages
  • Your downloaded file and online services
 

Tips to avoid the dangers of public Wi-Fi

Although there are risks there are definitely benefits in using public wi-fi hotspots too. Part of keeping yourself safe online is understanding the dangers. Knowing how to keep yourself safe too means that you are not putting yourself in any undue risk too.

By Using a VPN

The best solution to prevent your data from being hacked is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which creates a network-within-a-network encrypted tunnel to protect your data. The VPN should be sent across HTTPS, a protocol for secure communication, which is basically allowed on most networks.

Be conscious to use encrypted websites

If you are unable to connect to a VPN, protect yourself when surfing the web by only accessing websites that begin with “https” with green padlock. These websites are regarded as more secure to browse. In a word, “https:” provides a secure connection over an insecure network like public Wi-Fi.

Be careful making purchase on online or banking transaction

It can be both fun and relaxing to connect with the public wi-fi, while you enjoy your leisure at a coffee shop. But sometimes it’s important to check in on your bank account or transfer money to client immediately. Sometimes, you may purchase something from online store. Keep in mind that connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots can cause a danger. Think what could happen if the wrong people had your bank login information. So, avoid making purchase or banking transaction using public Wi-Fi.

Limit access to social media sites

Social media can be a necessary business technology, but logging into Facebook or LinkedIn and clicking on links from social media sites from a business device may leave your data at a danger. So, everybody should be conscious to log in to social media sites to avoid the danger of public Wi-Fi.

Most of new version computers have a built-in firewall that you can turn on and off. It can protect your computer from unwanted access. At home, you may be using a private network that is already protected with a firewall, but when you’re in public places, that might not be the case.

Finally, hold off on visiting any sites that require you to log in with a name and password, such as financial institutions etc. Avoid visiting those sites until you are on a secure, private network.

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