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VPN for Public Wi-Fi – Why you need to use it
Nowadays you can find and use public wi-fi everywhere, from airports to cafes. It made our lives easier and we can stay connected all the time, we can work from anywhere, watch movies, and do whatever you need to do on the internet from any place. Probably most of us gets pretty excited when we find public wi-fi, especially if it works smooth and fast, but not many of us think of the negative sides of such public networks such as increased threat of identity theft.
Why is public wi-fi not as secure as we might think
Most of the public wi-fi options are low in security, since anyone can access it and even access other people information who are connected to the same network. Public wi-fi is an easy target for hacker, who are trying to steal other users’ personal information, such as social media account logins, banking logins, etc. There are other threats such as man-in-the-middle attacks, wi-fi sniffing and malware that can be waiting for people who use public wi-fi.
Hackers can easily access unsecured Wi-Fi network and access users’ personal details and logins. Image your email account credentials are stolen, with that a hacker can easily access much more of your accounts than the email itself, especially if you login to your social media accounts by using your email account.
This cyber crime happens when a dangerous third person interrupts communication between two people. Then the criminal can access information that is being sent between those two people. This attacks allows eavesdropping, accessing real-time transactions, access that is being transferred.
Malware can get quite easily injected into users’ computer who are connected to the public Wi-Fi. Through malware, your attacker can easily access everything on your computer, this includes all of your files and even can be given access to your microphone and camera.
What data is at risk?
While connected to public Wi-Fi your personal information is at huge. Of course, you might be lucky and don’t encounter any threats on the network, but you never now, right? To know for sure, what data exactly is at risk, here are the main (you can say the most popular choices for hackers) information that can be stolen from you:
- Information on websites you visit
- Emails and messages
- Friends list that you are talking to online (and their messages)
- Files you shared online (photos, documents, etc.)
- Your passwords, your banking account credentials
Few Wi-Fi hacking cases to illustrate the threat:
- In 2016 Israel hacker took over a public wi-fi of the entire city. He found a vulnerability that let him take full control of the wi-fi device. This shows that skilled hackers can attack thousands of people by accessing large public wi-fi networks.
- Technologist writer Steven Petrow was once working on an article about dispute between FBI and Apple. Petrow was using fee-based public airplane wi-fi. After the flight landed the writer was approached by a man who said that he hacked into his files while he was on the plane. The reason that the man hacked into his account was that he wanted to show the feeling that people have when their computer is hacked and someone access their personal information.
- Business executives that visited luxury hotels in Asia have been infected by malware while connected to the hotel public Wi-fi and hackers could access their information.
How to stay safe while connected to public Wi-Fi
Don’t worry you don’t need to quit using public wi-fi, there are ways how to stay safe on public wi-fi. Most effective and the easiest one being a VPN. Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your internet connections and send all of your data through a secured tunnel by also changing your IP address. While you are connected to a VPN no one, even you own Internet Service Provider, knows what websites you are visiting or what are you downloading.
To get more information about VPNs and what are our top pics, you can read our article What’s a VPN and Why Would Anyone Need it? Everything You Need to Know and More
Nowadays you can find and use public wi-fi everywhere, from airports to cafes. It made our lives easier and we can stay connected all the time, we can work from anywhere, watch movies, and do whatever you need to do on the internet from any place. Probably most of us gets pretty excited when we…