The desire to connect to public Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or airport can be very tempting. However, if you are serious about cybersecurity, you should avoid using public Wi-Fi. Using public Wi-Fi puts vital information connected to you at risk. Even Wi-Fi with good security sometimes fails to prevent a cybersecurity attack. Also, public Wi-Fi security is not even good in terms of the security, most of the time. Here are a few reasons to avoid using public Wi-Fi at all costs.
Chances Of MitM Attack Is High
One of the most common threats to public Wi-Fi is man-in-the-middle or MitM attacks. In such an attack, the hackers use techniques similar to eavesdropping to lay hands on your sensitive information. In such an attack, the hacker intercepts the data you are sending or the data shared between two devices. Furthermore, the hacker also has the power to take control of the entire communication that is taking place via public Wi-Fi.
It is also possible for attackers to engage you in DNS spoofing. In this attack, the user is tricked into logging into a website that is not legit but looks legit. In DNS spoofing, due to misidentification, a user hands over all the information to a website that looks credible but is not. Furthermore, DNS spoofing can give unauthorized access to plenty of accounts.
Doing criminal activity is extremely easy on public Wi-Fi. All the devices come with a unique IP address. However, this IP address can be compromised while using public Wi-Fi. If you do not know your IP address yet, use What Is My IP to find the IP address. Also, with this compromise, a criminal can use your device to engage in serious criminal activity which you might not know. In other words, the criminal will engage in criminal activity with your device, and all the digital footprints will point towards you.
Worm infection is shared amongst the devices that use public Wi-Fi. How does it really work? If a user uses a device that does not support malware protection and is infected, the worm can jump into your device too. Therefore, a good antivirus and anti-malware software is a must, irrespective of whether you are using public Wi-Fi.
Rogue Wi-Fi Networks
Not all public Wi-Fi networks are legit. For instance, a coffee shop might have a rogue Wi-Fi network that looks like a Wi-Fi connection provided by a coffee shop but is not. When you connect to such a rogue Wi-Fi network, you easily hand the hacker unauthorized access to your device. Therefore, even if you have to connect to a public Wi-Fi network in an emergency, ensure that it is an authentic Wi-Fi network and is not roughed. Like rogue Wi-Fi networks, there are also rogue access points that can again put your device in trouble.
Insecure Wi-Fi Connection
Also, public Wi-Fi connections are shallow in terms of their security. It is because having good security on Wi-Fi is expensive. As a result, most places that offer free Wi-Fi simply offer a free internet connection that comes with no security.
How To Protect Yourself While Using A Public W-Fi?
Even though using public Wi-Fi should be avoided at all costs, what if you are in a situation where you cannot avoid using it? In such a scenario, it is essential to take care of precautions to ensure your safety. Firstly, your antivirus or antimalware connection should be updated and always running. If possible, go for an SSL connection because it is secure. To avoid a rogue Wi-Fi network, recheck the Wi-Fi connection with the owner of the business. Also, take utmost care of the websites that you are visiting. For instance, logging into your banking website is a big no from the public Wi-Fi, irrespective of the need. When you use public Wi-FI in case of information, stay away from personally identifiable information. Such information includes banking, home address, and social security numbers. Keep the Wi-Fi of the device off. This will help prevent any accidental sharing of documents.
Lastly, invest in an unlimited data plan to increase the dependency on public Wi-Fi. A good data pack with a good plan will eliminate the burden of connecting with public Wi-Fi in an emergency.