Public Wi-Fi Network and Security

Public Wi-Fi Networl and Security | Written By Manish Kumar

In this article, Manish Kumar is going to explain to us, The risks of connecting into a public Wi-Fi, and ¿How can we protect us, from these risk?.

¿What is a public Wi-Fi?

Public Wi-Fi can be found in popular public places like airports, coffee shops, malls, restaurants, and hotels — and it allows you to access the Internet for free.

These “hotspots” are so widespread and common that people frequently connect to them without thinking twice.

Public Wi-Fi Security Risks: Is It Safe To Use?

The biggest threat to free Wi-Fi security is the ability for the hacker to position himself between you and the connection point. …

Hackers can also use an unsecured Wi-Fi connection to distribute malware.

If you allow file-sharing across a network, the hacker can easily plant infected software on your computer.

The problem with public Wi-Fi is that there are a tremendous number of risks that go along with these networks.

While business owners may believe they’re providing a valuable service to their customers, chances are the security on these networks is lax or nonexistent.

Risks of using public wi-fi

Man-In-The-Middle Attacks

A man-in-the-middle attack happens when someone «impersonates» a legitimate public WiFi service to trick you into connecting.

For example, say you are staying in a Sleep tight hotel for the night.

The hotel offers free WiFi to its guests so you power up your laptop, turn on WiFi and see a network called «SleepTyte». If you are not paying close enough attention, you might miss the slight misspelling.

Malware Distribution

Another threat that can occur while using public WiFi, is the implementation of malware on your device.

Malware exists in many forms:

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Trojan horses
  • Ransomware
  • Adware

If someone on the same public WiFi as you has bad intentions, they could plant malware on your computer if it is not protected properly.

A suspect WiFi provider could use the hotspot itself to infect your computer with one or more of these threats.

Packet sniffing or eavesdropping 

Packet sniffing or eavesdropping is the illegal monitoring of data transmitted between devices.

Internet users without Wi-Fi hotspot protection risk not only losing critical information but also having their information modified.

For example, your business partner might receive your message after it has been altered by cybercriminals to serve their nefarious purposes. 

Surprisingly enough, one doesn’t have to be a master code breaker to intercept or steal personal data on public Wi-Fi. Just having the right gear and being a good psychologist is enough.

Sure, smooth criminals need a few applications and special tools for actual sniffing but the secret ingredient to every hackers’ success is the unsuspecting and careless user. 

Data breach

Using public Wi-Fi safely is essential to avoid a data breach, which happens when hackers illegally access private information.

Whereas identity theft mainly involves financial information, data breaches can affect any kind of information you store on your device.

If you don’t know how to safely use public Wi-Fi, cybercriminals can steal your photos, videos, documents, and contacts among others. 

Identity theft

Identity theft is a cyber crime with the primary goal of illegally obtaining someone’s data.

Most commonly, cybercriminals use public Wi-Fi hotspots to steal people’s credit card information and commit financial fraud.

With enough information about an individual, cybercriminals can apply for loans, withdraw money, make purchases and commit other crimes, all in their name.

Wireless Security tips — to help keep you safe on public Wi-Fi

Here are some tips from the experts:

Be aware
Public Wi-Fi is inherently insecure — so be cautious.

Remember — any device could be at risk
Laptops, smartphones and tablets are all susceptible to the wireless security risks.

Treat all Wi-Fi links with suspicion
Don’t just assume that the Wi-Fi link is legitimate.

It could be a bogus link that has been set up by a cybercriminal that’s trying to capture valuable, personal information from unsuspecting users.

Question everything — and don’t connect to an unknown or unrecognised wireless access point.

Try to verify it’s a legitimate wireless connection
Some bogus links — that have been set up by malicious users — will have a connection name that’s deliberately similar to the coffee shop, hotel or venue that’s offering free Wi-Fi.

If you can speak with an employee at the location, that’s providing the public Wi-Fi connection, ask for information about their legitimate Wi-Fi access point — such as the connection’s name and IP address.

Use a VPN (virtual private network)
By using a VPN when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you’ll effectively be using a ‘private tunnel’ that encrypts all of your data that passes through the network.

This can help to prevent cybercriminals — that are lurking on the network — from intercepting your data.

Avoid using specific types of website
It’s a good idea to avoid logging into websites where there’s a chance that cybercriminals could capture your identity, passwords or personal information — such as social networking sites, online banking services or any websites that store your credit card information.

Consider using your mobile phone
If you need to access any websites that store or require the input of any sensitive information — including social networking, online shopping and online banking sites — it may be worthwhile accessing them via your mobile phone network, instead of the public Wi-Fi connection.

Protect your device against cyberattacks
Make sure all of your devices are protected by a rigorous anti-malware and security solution — and ensure that it’s updated as regularly as possible.

Thank you for your time (Manish Kumar).

Contact Manish Kumar

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