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How To Use Public Wi-Fi Safely?

Public Wi-Fi is accessible in all places, such as airports, restaurants, coffee shops, museums, public transportation, and hotel spaces. A public Wi-Fi network is by design less safe than your own personal, private one considering you have no idea who established it or who else is connected to it. You wouldn’t need to connect to it; your smartphone can be a hotspot. However, if this is not practical or even possible, you can take a few straightforward measures to reduce the possibility of damage from public Wi-Fi.

Although the primary benefit is free access to the Internet, there are dangers associated with security. Malicious individuals could employ gadgets that are connected to the internet to gather private details, steal identities, compromise assets, and monitor users. Making certain measures when configuring and using your devices may assist you avoid this sort of operation.

The Risks/Threats Posed By A Public Wireless Network

The issue with public Wi-Fi lies in the fact that there are numerous threats associated with such networks. Among the risks are:

Man-in-the-Middle Violations

MITM attacks are a kind of eavesdropping. As soon as a computer connects to the internet, information travels from point A (the gadget) to point B (the service/website), and shortcomings may enable an intruder to intercept and “read” these transmissions. Attackers may assume the identity of someone who appears to be a reliable source. Let’s say you could be on a shopping site and see a chat window with someone stating to be an agent for customer service.

Wireless Sniffing

Many public access points fail to provide a secure and safe connection adding to that is the unencrypted traffic they carry. This way if you are using the public internet, you jeopardize your critical pieces of information or transactions. There are sniffing tools that these malicious individuals use to carry out their illegal tasks such as obtaining passwords or credit card numbers.

Evil Twin Attacks (Rogue Wi-Fi Hotspot)

A malicious party collects data related to an open network connection and configures its system to operate as it is. This cyberattack is capable of bypassing public network safety protocols. Whenever a user connects to this fake wifi connection, data is stolen. Only some users will have the ability to detect subtle variations for instance the identification of the Wi-Fi network.

Sidejacking

Sidejacking can also be referred to as session hijacking. You visit the web page where your login information is readily confirmed over an encrypted network. The fact that this web page is itself not encrypted allows a passageway for the hacker to hijack the information just entered. They may get access to already logged-in private accounts. This way the hacker successfully steals your identity, the phenomenon known as identity theft.

How To Stay Secure When Using Public Wi-Fi?

Now that you are aware of the risks you put yourself in using public Wi-Fi, you must also have knowledge about the ways these threats can be avoided. The following safety measures would help you protect yourself:

Verify the network

There lies a possibility of you connecting to a network that might be fake or a fraud. Therefore, you need to ensure and identify the real network before carelessly connecting to one. Knowing the name of the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to would play a vital role in safeguarding you. Look out for the duplicates of the network, if there are duplicate names of the network it would be a potential rogue hotspot.

Recognize scammers

Scammers have a way of stealing critical information by pretending to be representatives of the government or some popular company even though they are not. Fake websites are created with such perfection that it is hard to differentiate them from the real ones as they are encrypted in such a way. Once you visit this webpage, your information is encrypted on this site and gives easy access to the scammer.

Rely on Secure VPN

Get yourself a VPN – Virtual Private Network, especially mobile VPNs since most individuals use their phones for easy access through free networks. You will be doing yourself a favor if you use a public network. VPN ensures that your real IP address remains hidden from the potential malicious actor, as a result keeping your data safe.

VPNs not only help you stay safe but also allow you to access websites that might be restricted in your area or the network. So you can make your work stress-free from potential data theft as well as access to additional web pages.

You might find many VPNs free but for sure and best security, you might as well buy your VPN from an authentic provider.

Stick With HTTPS

It is easy to identify an unencrypted website because when you’re using Google Chrome, the web browser will let you know whether the site you just entered is using an encrypted HTTP connection. A label with the message “Not Secure” appears if the webpage is not encrypted.

Take that warning seriously, particularly when using public Wi-Fi. When you surf through HTTPS, individuals on a similar Wi-Fi network are unable to intercept the information flowing between your device and the web page’s server.

Limit File Sharing And AirDrop

When using an open network with strangers, be certain to disable file sharing before connecting to this network. No one around may retrieve your files or send you ones you do not want.

Guard Your Devices

Your private devices must be updated regularly. Your devices ought to have the latest and most recent security updates. OS updates contain critical security upgrades that may assist in protecting your device against Wi-Fi threats.

Conclusion

The most effective method to prevent safety concerns with public Wi-Fi is by not using it altogether. Before leaving the house, you should download music and videos for offline playback. You are now aware of how cybercriminals may capitalize on insecure spaces and launch a variety of threats towards your data and your identity. When using public Wi-Fi, make every effort to safeguard your devices.

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