Unfortunately, some people don’t take WiFi Hotspot Security seriously. It’s not just providers who are making mistakes. It’s users too. As such, people need to understand exactly what they can do to make wireless access to the Internet a more reliable way to transfer information. People shouldn’t just assume that because they are paying for hot-spots that they are immune from WiFi hot spot dangers. The good news is that people can quickly learn how they can protect themselves from those who would try to steal information while wireless networks are being used.
Avoid Security Risks
When people understand the security risks of free WiFi, they are better able to protect themselves. One of the best ways to guard against security risks is to use a virtual private network (VPN). When a VPN is properly used over a public network, the user can be protected. Understand that people who use VPNs have to know how to configure them properly. If they don’t, they are putting themselves at risk while having a false sense of security. Always use the strongest encryption level possible with the VPN service chosen. Most importantly, be sure the VPN connection is secured before accessing any email, logging into social media accounts, checking bank accounts, surfing the web, etc. VPN tunneling technology keeps data anonymous and encrypted from end to end. Often, apps are running in the background that a person isn’t aware of and is regularly submitting login credentials and transferring data back and forth. Before the VPN connection is completed, any data that is transferred over public networks is potentially compromised. It is important to get connected beforehand for complete protection.
Watch For Fake Networks
Another one of the public WiFi security risks is using a fake network. It’s relatively easy for hackers to trick some people into thinking they are using a public network. If a person is tricked, they might give up access to some of the information they want to remain secure. Verifying the name of the public network is one way to avoid accessing a fake network that has been set up to gather information.
Pass The Sniff Test
Even if a hacker isn’t operating a fake network, they still might be able to gain access to a person’s communications. Some people will actually ‘sniff’ for packets while compromising public Wi-Fi safety. People who use public Wi-Fi may expose themselves to unwanted surveillance. When people use sniffing, they are basically intercepting packets that they can then use to target devices. Hackers who use such techniques might rely on brute force methods to gain access. That’s why it’s important to make pass codes very complicated.
Free Lunches Aren’t Always Free
With the price people have to pay for data plans, who isn’t surprised that people welcome free wireless access. Unfortunately, some businesses take advantage of the fact people try to not drain their data plans. Businesses can offer free Internet access while collecting information on those who use it. Again, that’s why people need to use properly configured VPNs that have strong encryption.
Avoid Using Credentials
People who insist on using public networks need to avoid using websites that they need credentials to access. That means it’s not wise to use banking services while using public networks. Ideally, purchases should be avoided too. If passwords and sensitive financial information have to be used over a public network, bad things can happen. Only if a person is facing an emergency should they use information that is considered sensitive.
Don’t Use Untrusted Software
A good number of people download software that they shouldn’t. When people do it away from home, the results can be just as bad as when they do it at home. A person can lose data that they stored locally. Ransomware is becoming more popular, so people really need to watch what they download and what sites they visit while on public networks. All of a person’s files can be accessed by a hacker if the malware is unknowingly downloaded.
Use Mobile Data
Sure, it can cost money to run up the bill on a data plan, but it can cost more money when sensitive information is compromised. If a person doesn’t want to use an encrypted VPN, the next best choice is to use their own data plan. In efforts to save money, a good number of people have actually given out too much information over unsecured networks. People need to make sure that they properly configure their mobile devices when making a choice to use their own data networks. They don’t want to accidentally use a public network if they don’t have any safeguards in place.
Use Special Browsers
Browsers like Tor can help shield a person’s identity. Much like VPNs, browsers like Tor can slow down Internet connections. Some people consider that a small price to pay if it means they can maintain privacy and avoid being victims of hackers. Unlike quality VPNs, a person doesn’t have to pay to use Tor. They just have to download the application and run it. Using a special browser along with a VPN is a great way to guard against criminals who want to steal information.
The world of technology has made a lot of things easier than ever before. Unfortunately, one of those things is crime. If people don’t take the time to watch how they use networks, they can easily become victims of skilled hackers. The best thing that people can do is work with professionals who can tell them how they should handle free Internet access. People need to educate themselves so they can fight the criminals who try to take advantage of public Internet connections.