Over the last few months there has been an increase in the availability of public WiFi all over the country. This serves to be very beneficial for a lot of citizens. However, like all other things it too has some serious drawbacks.
I’m sure we have all at some point jumped in joy when we saw that free public WiFi was available. But what we forget to acknowledge is the large threat it poses to our privacy and security. Users must be made aware of the threats that they might face while using this WiFi.
Public WiFi: More bad than good?
Recent studies have revealed that third party attackers use these networks to access a user’s encrypted data including their emails and passwords. They can also install viruses and other malicious software onto your device through this WiFi.
Users must be aware of the threats they might face while using this public wifi. A study conducted in 2017 revealed that encrypted data such as emails and passwords can be intercepted by third party attackers. Viruses can also be transferred onto your device. The researchers said,
“This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on… Depending on the network configuration, it is also possible to inject and manipulate data.”
Furthermore, there is also another threat users must look out for. Attackers design wireless networks to act and seem like a legitimate WiFi network and use this to access all your sensitive information. This happens if you accidentally use these false network to sign into any bank or email accounts.
How to protect yourself
We recognize the importance of safeguarding your data and hence have compiled a list of simple steps for yout follow.
- Limit your browsing to those websites which do not require login info.
- Be sure to only open SSL sites( those with https in link not http ).
- Use a VPN.
- Disable sharing on your device.
Suggested Reading: Beware! PTA Will Now Retain User Information from Public WIFI Hotspots