The Dos and Don'ts of Using Public Wi-Fi

Finding free public Wi-Fi is the digital age treasure. We link to the network as quickly as possible, knowing that we've discovered a technological gold mine. Unfortunately, although saving our hard-earned cellular data and allowing us to work outside the office, public Wi-Fi poses a number of threats to all users on the open network, particularly if those users do not take precautions to protect themselves. Here's how to open Wi-Fi may compromise your data and gadgets.

Why is Your Online Privacy at Risk while using Public Wi-Fi?

For a variety of reasons, public Wi-Fi might put you at risk. One explanation is that certain wireless networks utilise encryption technology. Another concern is the risk of connecting to a bogus or rogue Wi-Fi hotspot.

  • Some wireless networks may utilise outdated encryption standards, putting your security at risk. One of the initial encryption standards for wireless networking devices, the Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP), is deemed weak and vulnerable to hacking.

  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) was supposed to take the place of WEP as the wireless networking standard. However, it was discovered to have flaws as well.

  • Hackers are well aware that data may be easily stolen over an unsecured wireless network. It is, however, far easier to steal if the hacker controls the network. As a result, open Wi-Fi should always be approached with care and thoroughly investigated before establishing a connection. A hacker might easily lure you into joining their "Free Wi-Fi," leaving your sensitive data subject to their whims.

  • A man-in-the-middle (or MitM) assault is one of the most prevalent attacks carried out through public Wi-Fi. MitM attacks are a type of internet eavesdropping in which a hacker positions himself in a network such that they can observe all data transmitted between a computer and a destination (such as a website). Any hacker using a man-in-the-middle attack may now see the connection that was formerly secret.

  • An attacker may always sneak malware onto your devices without your notice, especially if your software is out of date. Taking advantage of devices linked to unencrypted Wi-Fi networks is one of the greatest methods for a hacker to achieve this. Aside from compromising your privacy, the more infected devices connected to the same unsecured network, the faster malware may propagate.

What You Should Do While Using Public Wi-Fi?

You should take the following precautions while using a public Wi-Fi −

  • Disable file sharing if possible. Many file-sharing options expose your device to unwarranted hazards from other users. Disabling the setting will help you stay safe.

  • Visit websites that use HTTPS encryption. Whether you're using public or private Wi-Fi, you should make sure that each website you visit employs secure HTTPS encryption.

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN). A reputable VPN service will encrypt your internet connection and safeguard you and your data from prying eyes.

What You Should NOT Do While Using Public Wi-Fi?

Here's what you should NOT do while using a public Wi-Fi −

  • Allowing your devices to connect to Wi-Fi networks automatically is not a good idea. Although this function is helpful, it limits your control over the networks with which your device communicates.

  • When you're not using Wi-Fi, turn it off. The simplest solution to prevent hackers from gaining access to your data via Wi-Fi is to disable it entirely.

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi. Always utilise your cellular data instead of public w-fi networks unless it's an emergency. Sure, it'll set you back a little money each month, but that's nothing compared to the devastation that data theft through public Wi-Fi may wreak.

  • Don't go to websites that include personal information that you don't want others to know about. When you Google dinner recipes, a hacker can only learn so much from you. When you access websites that hold sensitive information about you, such as banking or healthcare websites, the quantity of valuable information at danger grows considerably.