Nowadays anywhere you go you will cross paths with a public Wi-Fi hotspot. They are everywhere but do beware this free service could lead to trouble. We will look at the security risks of such spots and what to consider when connection to a public Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi is everywhere! These are just some examples of where you will find them:
- Coffee Shops
We invite you to ask your friends or coworkers if they are concerned about the security risks of public Wi-Fi. About two thirds will probably say that they have no concern while more than 80% will say that they do connect in spite of clear warnings of a possible risk.
Hackers take advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots using the following methods:
- Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks: A hacker injects himself between two computers or modifies the communication between them.
- Rogue Wi-Fi networks: A hacker sets up a fake network that poses as a genuine network to steal personal information from users that connect to it.
- Packets sniffers: Hackers use certain tools to intercept any information sent through an unsecured network.
Now you might be thinking what information would anyone want to steal from me? Well any username and password would give them access to your personal data. Some examples would include login details for:
- Online banking
- Social media
- Online shopping
How do you protect yourself from such attacks? Consider the following tips for your own protection.
- Avoid connecting to unsecured public networks.
- Make sure your antivirus and firewalls are on
- Try to use secure websites only (the URL begins with HTTPS)
- USE a VPN connection! It is the safest way to protect yourself from any hacker!
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