It’s no secret that public Wi-Fi isn’t safe. You can be targeted by hackers or even government agencies. Your information is at risk of being stolen and used against you. That’s where a VPN comes in handy. Read on to learn how a VPN will protect all your data from prying eyes so that you can browse with peace of mind.
The Risks of Public WiFi
Public WiFi networks are convenient, but they come with risks. Without a virtual private network (VPN), your data is vulnerable to theft and other attacks. Public WiFi networks are also a favorite of cybercriminals. By spoofing the signal of a legitimate network, they can trick unsuspecting users into connecting to their malicious hotspot. Once connected, the criminals can steal passwords, financial information or even install malware on the user’s device.
Here are some of the risks you take when connecting to public WiFi:
1.Personal Information Theft
The theft of personal information is one of the most severe and prevalent dangers of using publicWiFi. If a hacker obtains access to your computer or other personal devices through a hacked public WiFi connection, they could have free rein over everything saved on them. For instance, if they get access to your login details and log into your bank’s or credit card’s website, well… you can see how that would be a problem.
2.Cyber Attack on Businesses
Mobile users on the road for most of the day may connect to public WiFi to check their emails, download files, view customer information, and perform other tasks requiring a network connection.
Most companies/businesses have security measures to minimize the danger of connecting over WiFi. However, there are still dangers if you or your coworkers need access to a company network via a public connection. Because WiFi networks are, by their nature, open and frequently monitored, it isn’t easy to know what information they might collect. There may be several reasons why you’re having trouble connecting to the internet. For example, you may be restricted because you’re in a public place or locked in your computer. You never know what data the WiFi provider could keep track of. The WiFi provider might log everything you do on the network and sell your data to marketers.
A more serious concern that may come about when using public WiFi is the installation of malware on your device. Someone with malicious intentions on the same public WiFi as you may install malware onto your computer if it is not kept secure. Bad actors could use the hotspot itself to drop one or more of these threats on your machine.
When you send and receive data over the internet, anyone connected to the same WiFi network as you can see what you communicate with a packet analyzer or packet sniffer. These tools enable inspection of everything transmitted over the WiFi network unless encrypted. Tools like these are not inherently bad. You can utilize them for good or bad purposes, just like any other tools. Packet sniffers allow network specialists to diagnose wireless network connection and other performance difficulties, but they also enable hackers to see all of the data sent through that WiFi network.
5.Hijacking of Sessions
Another common type of WiFi security breach is a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack. In this scenario, an adversary snatches information about your computer and its connection to websites or other services.
The attacker can then set his computer to mimic yours and take control of the connection after obtaining that data. Hacking into your personal computer and gaining access to online accounts is only one of several possible ways a hacker can control your information. For instance, after you sign in to your bank’s website, a hacker may steal your connection. Since your computer is already connected, the attacker would have access to everything on the banking website that you would have access to.
How to Use a VPN to Protect Your Privacy and Security on Public WiFi
Public WiFi can be a goldmine for hackers looking to steal your personal information. However, you can protect yourself from these threats and keep your data safe using a VPN. A VPN works by creating a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. This secure, encrypted tunnel protects your data from being intercepted by third-party hackers.
Here are a few best practices for using a VPN on public WiFi:
- Use a VPN on all of your devices, including smartphones and laptops, that will use public WiFi
- Choose a VPN that is reliable and has strong security features
- Make sure the VPN is active and connected anytime you’re using public WiFi
- No streaming or downloading large files while connected to public WiFi networks
- If your VPN connection drops, immediately disconnect from the public WiFi network or utilize the VPN’s killswitch feature
By following these simple tips, you can keep yourself safe and secure when using public WiFi. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
How a VPN Protects You on Public WIFI
So how does a VPN actually making it safer to use a public WiFi network? Here are a few ways:
- Encryption of your data. A VPN will encrypt your data, ensuring that it is safe from prying eyes.
- Protection against spying & data theft. By using a VPN, you can prevent others from spying on your activities while using public WiFi. If they do get access to your data, everything will be encrypted, and therefore unintelligible and unusable.
- Avoiding malware and viruses. A VPN can help to protect you from these threats by limiting the ports available to connect to your device, having a firewall in place, and strongly filtering anything coming in.
VPNs are an essential tool for staying safe and secure online — especially when using public WiFi networks. They encrypt your data so that it cannot be read by anyone else, protecting your privacy in the process.
Do you use a VPN anytime you’re on public WiFi? Do you have any additional tips for using public Wifi? Tell us in the comments!