Most people don’t care about security when using public Wifi. It is quite normal that we go to a cafe to have a drink and it has a Wi-Fi network for its customers.
This is definitely quite comfortable for clients, especially in this age where we live connected. However, it can be quite a big problem, as public Wi-Fi hotspots make it easy to hack into our device and steal confidential data.
In this article, we are going to talk in detail about everything you need to know about safety when using a public Wifi and the consequences you may have for doing so.
What is a public Wifi?
Basically a public Wifi would be any Wifi access point that does not require a password to access. These connections are usually present in bars, cafes, restaurants, etc.
And it’s so normal that most people don’t even wonder if there is any kind of security risk. Some people even have their devices set to connect to public networks automatically.
Obviously, this is something positive at first glance because we would save a large amount of mobile data, especially if we are to navigate a lot.
Is it safe to use public and free Wi-Fi?
Let’s imagine that we are in a bar or cafeteria, while we wait for the order we connect to the Wi-Fi network available in the place. We surf a bit, we visit social networks. What security do we have in a public Wi-Fi network is it safe? You may already be imagining the answer.
The dangers of using a public Wi-Fi network are more real than you think. Who could want my data? Let’s keep in mind something, people who steal confidential data through public Wi-Fi networks do not stop to see who their data can be stolen from.
They just do it and if something seems useful or can generate some kind of profit, they take it, that simple. Obviously having access to the internet without any kind of restriction is something quite beneficial. But it has a huge advantage and that is that it allows other people connected to the same network to do things with which you will not feel completely comfortable.
Obviously, sharing a network with an information pirate is not the same as having access to our device. More than anything because modern devices have different layers of protection to give a certain level of security when we are connected to Wi-Fi networks.
However, we could think of this in one way: let’s pretend that we are in a room with all our valuable possessions, those possessions are in drawers and boxes. But a strange person can enter the room and see absolutely everything. Would you feel comfortable?
This happens with public Wifi. A criminal can enter your device and see everything. But if you also have the experience and the right tools, not only can you collect your data, it could also open and steal it.
How to protect yourself on public Wi-Fi
The most important thing is to be vigilant. Several studies show that the main safety problem is the human factor. This happens across the board, especially when it comes to the internet. The simple fact of being careful, for example, when we want to install an application of dubious origin, it would be best not to trust.
Creating strong passwords is essential. The most important thing is that these are complex to decipher and that they need two-factor authentication is really very important to prevent information from being stolen.
Something that is extremely important is that any kind of important procedure or operation that requires sensitive data, never do it through a public Wi-Fi network. Public networks are not secure at all, especially when we are going to enter confidential data. In addition, it is not that they are too fast to be able to carry out certain procedures.
Is it safe to use a VPN on a public Wi-Fi network?
In this case, it would make public networks more secure by hiding our activity and data. However, we should not trust ourselves either. Also, many sites have not yet adopted traffic encryption (HTTPS) and that VPN networks slow down connection speed.
If we add to this that in itself, a public network is quite slow, we would find a connection that is not exactly the best in any sense. Neither in terms of safety nor speed.
Better safe than sorry
In this sense, it is much better to be safe than sorry. Public Wi-Fi networks are something that tempts us when we are in a bar or cafe. However, we put all our data at risk. A great human error is to think “This is not going to happen to me” until it happens.
If by saving a few mobile data you are willing to put your private information at risk. You should think twice, because thanks to great advances in the internet and technology, cybersecurity problems are becoming more and more common.
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