The Risks of Wifi Hotspots
The Risks of Wifi Hotspots
Hotels, cafes, airports, the free public wifi instantly grants you an access for browsing sites, checking flights and other information you need online. But you might have already heard of a lot of cases before about hackers stealing information from users connecting to an open public wifi, right? While some cafes and businesses have additional protection though passwords, open public wifi is there to offer you convenience, but not necessarily security. When you connect to an unprotected hotspot, it is only right to assume that all your messages and other exchanges and downloads can be seen by other parties. That includes personal information from bank details, emails and passwords. And because everything can now be learned on youtube, even kids can learn hacking in a snap. Just imagine if these kids are professional hackers whose sole intent is to steal your information or your identity? How do they do it?
Information Capture and Interception
Exchanging information thru apps or website that are not encrypted can easily expose you to risks of getting hacked. It is relatively easy for hackers to capture these messages, your log in information and password and get access on your accounts. And worse, if they can monitor messages from A to B, they can actually change it. For instance, the address where your parcel should be delivered.
In order to protect yourself from these tricks, ensure to use apps that fully encrypt your messages like whatsapp.
Getting their hands on some data on your Machine
Unprotected hotspots can be quite dangerous when your file sharing is turned on. This means anyone on the network can access your computer and play around with your files- either by copying them from your hard drive or adding some files that can take over your computer.
Hackers may create fake access point to lure you in and get access to all your data. It can use names of usual brands such as ‘Starbucks Wi-fi’ and from there, collect as much data as they can. Some can intercept messages, making you think you are talking to a legit party like Amazon.
So how do we avoid this horrible situation?
- Find out the name of the true hotspot from the employees. Normally, it would be on your receipt or on the board with a security key or password.
- To encrypt connection, invest on a good VPN so you can protect the data traffic on your network. Check out the right package for you at VPN.surf.
- Enable your computer’s firewall and anti-virus to protect your device from malwares.
- Keep your wifi turned off when not in use. Also check if your “sharing” is turned off.
- Activate your HTTPS Encryption for all websites to make browsing secure. HTTPS Everywhere extension is available for the Firefox, Chrome and Opera browser.