Are Public wi-fi Networks Safe?

A

Public wi-fi networks are internet access available in various public places such as coffee shops, malls, airports, hotels, etc. Technically, it is more likely unsafe to use public wi-fi networks than private ones because you are not sure whose connection you are connecting with. When using public wi-fi networks, see to it that you follow the necessary precautions to avoid possible cybersecurity issues. If you will use a public internet connection, see to it that you connect to sure and trusted networks.

Public wi-fi networks could be risky because you can be exposed to various online problems if you are not too careful. Cybercriminals are usually intruding through public networks to access bank credentials and other personal security information. Hackers often take advantage of public connections to distribute malware and intercept someone’s personal information and data.

In other words, the most common problem encountered in using public wi-fi networks is the Man-in-the-Middle attacks (MitM), where an unknown attacker could access the data in between from the origin before its arrival to another point. Therefore, your data are no longer private.

Basic Safety Measures in Using Public wi-fi Networks

  • Visit legitimate sites only, particularly those URLs with HTTPS.
  • Always log out immediately after using a specific online account.
  • Use a VPN(virtual private network) to ensure that your connection remains private.
  • File-sharing functionality should be disabled.
  • Avoid auto-connect to networks.
  • Turn your Bluetooth and wi-fi off when not in use.
  • As much as possible, refrain from accessing your sensitive personal accounts when using public wi-fi.

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Pieter Borremans

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