We all understand the feeling of discovering your favorite restaurant has a free Wi-Fi policy, or you lodge in a hotel and get a free wi-fi attached to your package. They can be exciting, a sign of relief because who doesn’t like free things? But we don’t understand the endanger of these free Wi-Fi to our public devices.
What is public Wi-Fi? These types of Wi-Fi are usually found in public areas and places like airport, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, malls, hospitals, etc. These Wi-Fi usually spread fast, and, in some cases, people connect to them without even knowing. This may sound safe and harmless but using this Wi-Fi to check daily activities like your e-mail, bank account, or google searches, can be very risky.
Public Wi-Fis’ are unsecured network. Anything unsecured can be harmful to your mobile devices, as they can bring in virus to your phones, or in worse cases, be an avenue for hackers to hack into it. According to kaspery, “The biggest threat to free Wi-Fi security is the ability for the hacker to position himself between you and the connection point”.
The recent rise to free, public Wi-Fi has been a great boom for lots of working-class individuals and businessmen. Since these free hotspots are usually found at public places such as restaurants, hotels, airports, even at random supermarkets, you can say that you’re a stone throw away from getting free access to your network and your work. This freedom comes with a price, and only a few understand the risks that come with public Wi-Fi.
Dangers of public Wi-Fi
- Distribution of Malware: Because of software vulnerabilities, there are several ways that attackers can get malware onto your computer without you even noticing a single thing. A software vulnerability is a security flaw, glitch, or weakness found in software code that could be exploited by an attacker. Hackers can take advantage of this weakness by writing code to target a particular vulnerability, and then inject the malware onto your device.
- Dangerous hotspots: These access points trick victims into connecting to what they think is a good network because the name sounds original. For example, let’s assume you’re lodging in a hotel and want to connect to the hotel’s Wi-Fi. You may think you’re selecting the correct one when you click on the hotel’s Wi-Fi, but you haven’t. Instead, you’ve just connected to another hotspot arranged by cybercriminals who can now gain access to your sensitive information.
- Unencrypted networks: According to Investopedia, “Encryption is a means of securing data by encoding it mathematically such that it can only be read, or decrypted, by those with the correct key or cipher”. Encryption means that the information that is sent between your computer and the wireless router are in a secret code form, so that it cannot be read by anyone. If a professional set up the network, then chances are good that encryption has been enabled. Although, there is no correct way to tell if this has happened.
These are all but a few risks of using public Wi-Fi. They may seem secured and well encrypted, but not all may seem so perfect. Always use a safe and secured network for your daily activities.
We are Platview Technologies. We are an innovative and agile cybersecurity company with the goal of safe-guarding businesses with our world-class, industry-leading services and technology solutions. We commit to understanding your business objectives and goals to align a tailored security services and strategy allowing your business to grow without added security risk.