Most people know that public Wi-Fi is not as secure as their home network but don’t know how to stay safe while using it. The next time you connect to an unsecured network, you’ll need to consider the risks. Keep reading to learn about the dangers of public Wi-Fi and how to stay safe while using it.
What is public Wi-Fi and why do people use it?
Public Wi-Fi is a convenient way to browse the web outside of your home. It’s a great option for businesses like coffee shops, bookstores, and medical offices because it lets customers browse the web while they wait for their product or service. It also makes visiting establishments with public Wi-Fi more communal and enjoyable. Public Wi-Fi is also great for people who don’t have access to a secure network at home. While data security is an issue, a lot of people don’t know the potential consequences of joining a Wi-Fi network that’s open to the public.
Many people also choose public Wi-Fi to work outside of their home—especially people who work remotely. Places with public Wi-Fi offer an ideal change in scenery and the bustle of a crowd, which helps some people work more efficiently. Outside of work, people often use public Wi-Fi to look at maps, answer an urgent email, or look up time-sensitive information. Simply put, it’s convenient for customers and beneficial for businesses.
Why is public Wi-Fi dangerous?
When it comes to Wi-Fi, your personal information is most threatened when you enter a public network. Since public Wi-Fi is open to anyone, it is vulnerable to hacking and other security threats. There is no authentication involved to get a network connection, so this gives anyone the opportunity to hack into unsecured data from someone using the open network. Simply put, anyone on the same network as you can potentially see your passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information. Hackers may also use an unsecured network to send malware to other devices on the network.
Hackers may also trick you into joining a malicious hotspot with the same name as a trusted public Wi-Fi network. For example, someone could mimic the name of a cafe’s public Wi-Fi to entice customers who don’t know which network is the real one. A malicious hotspot can track anything the hacker wants, including personal information and anything you upload.
How can you protect yourself from the dangers of public Wi-Fi?
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your data so hackers cannot access it. Still, you should also avoid doing sensitive activities such as online banking or shopping on public Wi-Fi networks. If you must do these activities, stay on your VPN and ensure it doesn’t disconnect. You should never enter personal information into forms when connected to public Wi-Fi, nor should you manage projects remotely or anything with sensitive information in public. You should also keep your devices updated with the latest software updates. Security updates ensure your devices have the latest security patches. Failing to update your software can make you more vulnerable to malware and hackers.
You should only visit HTTPS websites when browsing the web on an unsecured network. Non-HTTPS websites are insecure, leaving you even more vulnerable to malware. When browsing the web, make sure you stay cyber aware and only visit HTTPS websites to keep your information safe. You can tell if a website is HTTPS by looking for the green lock icon in the address bar. You may also want to install an HTTPS addon to your browser, which automatically locks unsecured websites. Additionally, make sure your passwords are as strong as possible. This means adding special characters and numbers to bolster your security. A strong password should also include at least eight characters. Don’t use common words or phrases that hackers can easily guess, and try to avoid using the same password twice.
You may also want to avoid public Wi-Fi altogether. If your mobile device has a hotspot plan, consider tethering to your hotspot and browsing the web safely through that. You can rest assured knowing your hotspot is secure and only accessible to you. bestnewshunt Just make sure your cell phone plan offers unlimited data; otherwise, you’ll go over your data limit pretty quickly if you intend to upload files large files. Additionally, some places provide a secured network. The only drawback is that businesses with password-protected networks may require you to purchase a limited-time subscription.
Public Wi-Fi can be dangerous as it leaves users vulnerable to cyber-attacks. However, there are ways to stay safe while using it. By using this guide, you’ll be able to visit your favorite local spots with public Wi-Fi and stay safe in the process.