It’s Friday Evening, you’re with your friends at your favorite spot, and you approach the waiter for the free WiFi password. You want to post some pictures on Instagram and update your WhatsApp status.
Free WiFi is generally available at shopping malls, lodgings, air terminals, book shops, and even retail outlets. Few people genuinely understand the security risks associated with using a public WiFi connection. Understanding how to protect yourself will ensure that your data remains safe.
Understanding the risks and attacks on public WiFi
Hackers steal personal information like your name, username and password, locations, and ID number to break into your accounts. They can also sell your information to make a profit. In other cases, they use malicious software which can lock you out of your phone and computer until a ransom is paid.
Here are some of the attacks used by hackers to steal and exploit your information.
- Man-in-the-middle attacks: This technique is used by attackers to eavesdrop and change the communication between your phone/laptop and the server.
- Distribution of malware over unsecured connections: Malware can slow down your device and steal your sensitive information like internet banking credentials
- Snooping and sniffing: This technique is used to steal information from un-encrypted connections, HTTP sites are a potential threat because there is no way to validate that you are connected to site you want, SSL seal shows that a website is protected
Here are some safety tips on how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.
- Turn off automatic connection
- Only visit HTTPS sites
- Use an antivirus
- Check forget network after using public Wi-Fi
- Don’t run financial transactions over public networks
We must understand the dangers related with the use of public Wi-Fi. So next time you sign into a public WiFi, remember these safety tips. Do you have any other tips? Tell us in the comments.