Overview

In this article, we will discuss the dangers of public wifi and how would you be able to protect yourself.

 

Wi-Fi hotspots in airports, libraries, coffee shops, universities, hotels, and other public places are convenient, however, often these hotspots are unsecured. If a person connects to a Wi-Fi hotspot and sends sensitive data via mobile applications or websites, someone could be able to know it. 

Public WiFi networks are exactly what modern web users want & use. Internet users can access Wi-Fi hotspots no matter where they are. They can use it for free, and it allows them to work remotely without difficulty.

However, it’s just unfortunate that public WiFi networks’ security is not so great. As a matter of fact, if a person uses a public WiFi network, he/she is at risk of cyberattacks. Nonetheless, this article will show you Public Wifi Dangers and How to Protect Yourself.

 

ANONYMOUSLY

Public Wi-Fi Networks Are Not Secure

When you’re in your home, you can do what is necessary to secure your wireless network. You can do it by limiting what devices can connect to the network, using a robust router password, and enabling encryption. Wherein, this scrambles the data you transmit over the web into a code that others can’t see. However, when a person is using the Wi-Fi network of a coffee shop, he/she can’t control the security of the network.

Why does network security matter? If the Wi-Fi network is not secure, and a person logs into a website that is unencrypted, other network users can see what that person sends. Someone else could hijack the web session. However, there are new hacking tools (available online for free) that make this easy. These hacking tools can be used even for people with little technical knowledge. Thus, private documents, personal data, family photos, contacts, and even login credentials could be vulnerable.

A scammer also can use a person’s account to impersonate him/her and scam people on his/her contact lists. Scammers can also test usernames & passwords on other platforms, such as websites that keep financial data. If a scammer obtains your personal information, that scammer could take your identity.

When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you could share your information with the Wi-Fi providers. A number of public Wi-Fi hotspots, such as in hotels, coffee shops, or airports, will also prompt users to install a public key certificate or digital certificate to utilize their internet connections. Public Wi-Fi networks do this to scan the web traffic for malware. However, this also lets them read a person’s web traffic. 

 

Risks of Utilizing An Unprotected, Unsecured Public WiFi

Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks

Man-in-the-Middle attacks are among the most typical public WiFi cyberattacks, It is also a structure of digital eavesdropping. Nonetheless, when a phone, laptop, or tablet links to the web through a public WiFi hotspot, data or information is transmitted between the device and the website users are visiting, Data is also sent to the host server of the application users are using. These MitM attacks let cybercriminals or hackers stay between these transmission points and intercept a person’s internet traffic. Wherein, cybercriminals can obtain and manipulate the data. 

 

Access to Sensitive or Personal Data/Information

Connecting to public WiFi networks doesn’t need any login details, which means that the networks lack authentication. Thus, it is a spot for hackers or cybercriminals to try and get access to unsecured devices that utilize the public WiFi network.

For example, if the file-sharing of the device is off, hackers or cybercriminals can easily connect to that device.

One of the methods to use to obtain or steal sensitive information is through a man-in-the-middle or MitM attack. It transpires whereby hackers or cybercriminals intercept the web connection when you are transmitting data via a public Wi-Fi router.

 

Malware Distribution

Another risk that people can expose themselves to when utilizing free, public WiFi is their devices being contaminated with malware. Hackers or cybercriminals can also utilize the WiFi network to roll out malware or intrusive software to your device that will be utilized to obtain your sensitive information.

For example, if the file-sharing of the device is off, hackers or cybercriminals can easily access your folders once you are linked to the public WiFi. Much worse, the malware can run on devices without owners noticing.

 

Intercepting Internet Traffic and Messages

Hackers or cybercriminals can penetrate unencrypted, not secure messaging applications and all the requests that people transmit to a website. However, some will do more and monitor such web traffic to steal all the handy, sensitive information.

Nonetheless, many commercial sites & messaging applications encrypt their traffic, but several still don’t. Thus, to make sure that you stay safer, you must ensure that the app you use utilizes great encryption protocols.

For example, WhatsApp messaging app comes with end-to-end encryption. Wherein, all messages are safe, and secured from hackers or third parties. To choose the best messaging application, make sure that its developer has a great reputation.

 

Exposure or Vulnerability to Worm Attacks

Worms attack is an old term with regards to cyber-attacks. It is more like viruses that pay particular attention to a program compromising a system.

On public WiFi hotspots, a number of PCs are connected at the same time to one network. Nonetheless, one of the PCs can be providing a worm, and thus users are vulnerable to the worm from the PC to their devices.

 

Sidejacking

Sidejacking or session jacking is not a typical internet threat. However, some hackers or cybercriminals can go the extra mile by utilizing it. Sidejacking is a method whereby cybercriminals use packet sniffing (the practice of gathering packets that pass through a PC network). Then, cybercriminals target people’s data packets that obtain cookies.

For example, hackers or cybercriminals may target the cookies linked with the sign-in process of a number of platforms. Cybercriminals could intercept cookies transmitted to your PC when you access your bank account. However, these hackers can claim to be you with data and sign in to your account without the bank noticing or suspecting it.

 

YOUR INTERNET ACTIVITY IS BEING WATCHED

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Protection Guide on Public Wi-Fi Network

If you want to avoid the dangers of free, public WiFi, you must make sure that you follow the guide below.

  • When you connect to a public WiFi network, make sure to enable a VPN or Virtual Private Network app. We always suggest Surfshark service as the perfect VPN to utilize.
  • Make sure to confirm its real name before connecting to a WiFi network to steer clear of connections to similar-name networks.
  • Ensure that you enable the firewall of your device. It aids to keep hackers or cybercriminals from accessing unsafe ports. If you turn off your VPN app, enabling the device’s firewall is important.
  • However, you should ensure that you utilize SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connections on any platform or website while using a public WiFi network to make incoming & outgoing data safe and secure.
  • Always turn off file sharing when you connect to an open WiFi network.
  • You should use great antivirus and malware applications.
  • Nonetheless, you should turn off the WiFi of your device immediately when you are not utilizing the web anymore.

 

Use Public Wi-Fi Safely with a VPN

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How to Install Surfshark VPN on Firestick

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1. Go to the Home screen of your Firestick.

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2. Navigate towards the Find tab. Press the Search button from the resulting dropdown.

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3. Type in the keyword of SurfShark and select from the suggestions that will appear.

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4. Click the official SurfShark icon from your search results.

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5. Press the Download (You own it) button.

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6. The SurfShark VPN installer will download on your device.

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7. SurfShark VPN’s app will automatically install itself on your Fire TV stick.

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8. Press the Open button after completing SurfShark VPN’s installation process.

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9. Please wait for the SurfShark VPN to load its user interface.

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10. You can now log in with your SurfShark VPN account credentials.

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How to Protect Your Information/Data When Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

Below are methods to protect your sensitive information or data when you are using free, public Wi-Fi:

  • Never access your financial or personal data. You must always remember that public Wi-Fi networks are not safe & secure.
  • Sign in or send personal data only to websites or platforms that are completely encrypted. To stay secure & safe, your entire visit to every website should be safe & encrypted. Wherein, the URL should start with https. Nonetheless, you’ll be safe from the time you sign in until logging out. If you log in to an encrypted, safe website but end up on an unencrypted, unsafe web page, you must immediately log out.
  • You must not stay permanently logged into your accounts. You must log out when you are finished utilizing an account.
  • Never use the same login details on various websites. A hacker who obtains access to one of the accounts accesses several of the accounts.
  • You must carefully consider the warnings. A number of internet browsers alert people before they visit a fraudulent or deceptive platform or download harmful programs. Always remember those warnings. However, always update your web browser as well as security software.
  • You must change the settings of your device so it does not connect to Wi-Fi networks automatically. Thus, you have control over how & when you utilize Wi-Fi networks.
  • Also, you may install useful browser add-ons. For instance, HTTPS-Everywhere is a free & open-source browser extension that forces the web browser to utilize encryption on well-known websites. However, add-ons still don’t protect web users on all websites.

 

Method To Encrypt Private Information or Data

While there is not a lot to do to make a free Wi-Fi network extra secure, you can do stuff to help maintain data more secure:

  • Connect to web pages securely and safely. If https is present in the web address, it is a secure website. However, using https doesn’t signify a web page is extremely good or legit. Hackers or cybercriminals have the knowledge to encrypt websites. Cybercriminals know that web users assume https is a safe & secure website. Thus, hackers & cybercriminals have started adding https to their websites. Thus, your information is encrypted traveling to the website.
  • You must use a VPN (virtual private network) service. Some VPN service providers provide encryption. 
  • Utilize mobile data as it is typically encrypted. If you travel a lot, don’t know how to find a secure website, and don’t have VPN encryption, you must utilize your mobile data. Nonetheless, this is an ideal method when you’re putting sensitive data into applications since it could be difficult to find out if they are encrypted.

 

Avoid Utilizing Particular Types of Website

It is always a good idea not to log in to web pages where there is a possibility that a hacker could obtain your passwords, personal information, or identity. Hackers or cybercriminals could penetrate online banking services, social networking sites, or websites that store credit card information.

 

Use An Antivirus App

Antivirus apps can protect people while using public Wi-Fi networks. These apps can detect malware or viruses that could get into people’s systems while utilizing the network. Nonetheless, always ensure to use the antivirus program’s latest version. You’ll receive an alert or notification if viruses or malware are spread onto your device. Thus, you’ll know if there are suspicious activities, malware, or malicious attacks getting into your system through the shared network.

 

Wrapping Up

In this article, we have provided information on Public Wifi Danger and How to Protect Yourself. The information above should really help you keep your sensitive information safe & secure while using public Wi-Fi networks.

However, always remember to use a VPN service every time you utilize public Wi-Fi networks. If you have any thoughts about the article – Public Wifi Danger and How to Protect Yourself, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section.

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