Although free Wi-Fi is liberating and convenient enabling most people to work remotely, it can also compromise the data of your device. More virtual fraudsters have increased as the number of people using free Wi-Fi increased. Almost all hotels and public spaces provide free Wi-Fi to give their clients convenience and an easy time. However, they do not put any effort into cybersecurity on their guest network.
Since Wi-Fi is indispensable for travelers and homophobic people, it is important for them to put up some efforts to ensure they remain safe online.
Securities Measure to be Taken to Avoid Hacks
1. Man in the middle threat attack
The Man in the middle attack is the most popular attack when one has connected to a public Wi-Fi. Malicious people are always trying to eavesdrop your conversations or trying to get some data. If for instance, you are logging in into your bank account through a public Wi-Fi connection, hackers will use that window to basically intercept the data transfer. When your device is making a connection to the internet what happens is that data is sent from one point to another, A to B. Because of the vulnerabilities, attackers can easily get in between the transmissions and read them.
2. Malicious Hotspots
There are so many rogue access points that people confuse for legitimate networks. The hackers succeed mostly because they use a name that is almost similar to the legit hotspot. If you are not careful and end up connecting to the rogue hotspots, cybercriminals will be able to access and see your sensitive information.
3. Using Unencrypted Networks
Usually, when a network is encrypted, information sent between your device and the network is sent in the form of a secret code. This code ideally cannot be read by a random person without the key to decipher it. The risk of using public Wi-Fi is the fact that you cannot be sure that it is encrypted. This is a great risk and the best way is to avoid it because you can’t tell for sure.
4. Malware Distribution
Because of so many software vulnerabilities, hackers exploit this and write a code targeting a particular vulnerability. Once they have successfully identified the vulnerability, they inject the malware to the device.
Securities Measures to Avoid Hacks on Public Wi-Fi
1. Keep your Connections Safe
When you are connecting to any websites on public Wi-Fi it is important to at least make sure your connection is safe. One way to guarantee that is by connecting the websites through HTTPS as opposed to HTTP. Https is encouraged because it ideally encrypts any information you send or receive on the website. This ultimately ensures that communication on a given website is safe.
2. Know the Network you are Connecting to
When in a public place like a restaurant it is very easy to be tempted to connect to the WIFI that pops up on your device. This is not advisable because most people fall prey to malicious hotspots. If you are not sure what public Wi-Fi you are connecting to it is very safe to ask the people working at that place to give you the right Wi-Fi to connect to. Secondly, ensure that you check whether your device is automatically connected to an unknown Wi-Fi or if it asks you for a password before you log in. This will help you know what you are connecting to.
3. Use a VPN
Using a VPN is one of the most secure ways of browsing on any public network. A VPN encrypts all your data hence making it difficult for people trying to steal your data. It does this successfully by routing your traffic via a secure network and this is the case even when you are on public Wi-Fi. VPNs are great because they give you all the perks of a private network while at the same time give you the freedom to use public Wi-Fi.
- Must Read: 10 Best VPN Apps for Android Devices
Although some VPN services are free, getting a paid VPN service is more advisable because it is very effective and guarantees security. When on public Wi-Fi using Express VPN is highly recommended. It is one of the most popular VPNs in the market and this can be attributed to its longevity in the market and also the fact that its performance is outstanding. While it is pricier than other VPNs in the market, it is worth every coin as security and encryption of data is top notch. Before purchasing it, you can check the Express VPN review so that you have an idea of its features and its advantages.
4. Always use Two-factor Authentication
Using two-factor authentication will protect you from hackers especially when you are using public Wi-Fi. Two-factor authentication usually requires both your unique password and also a secondary code that keeps changing regularly for the websites. This helps because even if a hacker succeeds in getting to your accounts and getting all the passwords, they most likely will not be able to have the secondary code.
- Must Read: 12 Ways to Secure Your Online Transactions
5. Turn off Sharing
When you are on a private network you are at liberty to share anything you want from files to remote login from computers on your network. However, this is not a great idea when you are using public Wi-Fi. Turn off your sharing setting because, on a public Wi-Fi, anyone including the malicious hackers can get access to your information.
When traveling, it is very essential for you to be connected to Wi-Fi to enable you to do your work and even catch up on what’s happening. Whereas most places you will go to will probably have free public Wi-Fi, it is very important to vet the Wi-Fi before connecting to it. You could choose to use a VPN if absolutely necessary or put up firewalls or use the above-aforementioned tips to help you stay safe. Alternatively, you can avoid using public Wi-Fi altogether though this will inconvenience you.