Five tips to keep you safe while connecting to public Wi-Fi

Five tips to keep you safe while connecting to public Wi-Fi

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish) Русский (Russian)

Recent data points to an alarming surge in the number of cyber-attacks targeting individuals. As more people adopt the mobile lifestyle, there is a growing demand for public internet access.

However, according to the 2019 cybersecurity insights report, over 500 million individuals were victims of cyber attackers with a majority happening on public Wi-Fi.

It’s a known and quietly accepted fact among experts that all Wi-Fi networks can be attacked and breached. While new technologies have come onboard to prevent network hacking, it’s still quite hard to keep everyone safe on Wi-Fi.

Criminals looking to steal financial data, user identities and spread ransomware see public Wi-Fi networks as a soft target.

Let’s look at some of the reasons:

Router Security: Routers are often unencrypted, making them vulnerable to hacks. While most router manufacturers provide patches for their hardware whenever they are breached, not all of them get updated. To make it worse, most public Wi-Fi providers rarely update or upgrade their routers as they should.

Anonymity: A hacker doesn’t have to use his Wi-Fi network to attack a computer on public Wi-Fi hotspots. In most cases, they will be connected to the same network as their victims, meaning they will never be traced or identified.

Easy access to victims: Hackers on Wi-Fi don’t need to perform complicated OSINT scans to locate victims. By connecting to a publicly available Wi-Fi network, they get easy access to victims connected to the same networks. This is also the reason why novice hackers prefer Wi-Fi hackers to other forms of hacking.

How can you protect yourself while on public wi-fi?

By now, you might be wondering if it’s really worth it or safe to use Wi-Fi given the threats it presents. Luckily, there are a number of ways to be safe while using Wi-Fi, be it in public or at home.

1.    Use a VPN to protect your data

Using a VPN is the most recommended way to protect your device even when you connect to public Wi-Fi Hotspots. Essentially, a VPN for Wi-Fi turns all data coming to and leaving your device into a format that cannot be read or accessed by hackers.

A VPN can come as a standalone app or browser extension that you install and never have to configure. All you need to do is turn it on before you connect to a Wi-Fi network, and it will work in the background to secure your data from hackers.

2.    Avoid suspicious Wi-Fi networks

Don’t be tempted to connect to every “free Wi-Fi” network available. Wi-Fi hackers often create rogue hotspots that may sometimes mimic known networks. To make them more attractive, they make these hotspots password free.

3.    Avoid unsecured websites

Sites without SSL certificates are most likely going to leak your data to hackers over Wi-Fi, especially if you don’t have a VPN. Avoid sites without an HTTPS prefix especially when on public Wi-Fi. Some web browsers will also warn you if you try to access an unsecured website over Wi-Fi.

4.    Turn off file sharing and device discovery features

Most devices have a network feature that allows other devices on the same network to communicate with them and possibly retrieve or share files between them. You should always turn this feature off when you connect to a new Wi-Fi network.

Luckily, those using windows will always get an alert when they connect to a public network asking if they should enable file-sharing and device discovery.

5.    Don’t sign into sensitive accounts over wi-fi

Unless you have a VPN, you should avoid signing in to sensitive online accounts such as banks, work emails and corporate platforms over Wi-Fi. Crucially, you should always double-check if the website you are signing into is the right one or a spoofed one.

In conclusion

It’s hard to avoid using Wi-Fi as it’s the most convenient way to access the internet while on the go.

Taking the right steps to be safe from hackers is, therefore, the easiest way to address the threat posed by Wi-Fi hackers who want to steal and possibly infect your devices with malware. Be safe!

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Disclaimer: This press release is for informational purposes only, the information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CriptomonedaseICO, and should not be attributed to, CriptomonedaseICO.


This post is also available in: Español (Spanish) Русский (Russian)

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