evil looking hacker with cyber face

Risks on Public Wi-fi

These days most business offer the public free Wi-fi to help keep visitors spending time on the premises in stores, bars, restaurants, or coffee shops.

Public Wi-fi is a wonderful thing because it’s free! After the first time you connect, it might save your login data, so you can auto-connect next time you are in range of that public Wi-Fi. But these public Wi-fi hotspots are fraught with hidden dangers, and a preying ground for hackers and identity thieves.

Public Wi-Fi security

While we are waiting for our coffees, we smile away at our phone screens, scrolling through social media and reading emails on the free Wi-fi. At the same time someone else has connected to the same free Wi-fi, he has connected to the Wi-fi in order to steal people’s information.  He knows this will be relatively easy to do because as with most public Wi-fi hotspots security is non-existent. Most Wi-fi hotspots aren’t passworded so you can connect easily, but this also allows them to hacked easily.

This hacker might sit anywhere; he could be up to 250 metres away or even in a car outside connected to the Wi-fi hotspot, browsing for victims.

Within, maybe two minutes he connects to your phone and downloads your data in under a minute. After just three minutes, you won’t even know this has happened until the consequences of this data breach are revealed in bank statement or worse. This could have already happened to you, and you might not even know yet.

Unencrypted networks

The term encryption implies that info sent between a router and your device gets coded and cannot be read without the key code. It is vital to make sure your encryption is active on your home or business router to reduce the risk of attacks on you or your clients.

Most routers are sent to you from your internet service provider with the encryption turned off. Therefore, I recommend the first thing you do after reading this is connect to your router and ensure the encryption is turned on. Even better connect your VPN to your router! a router running via a VPN automatically encrypts and protects all devices connected to that router. This included smart devices and requires no extra steps or setup after the initial setup of the router VPN.

Malware Spreading

If for example you have not updated your software or downloaded the most recent security updates this could lead to an attacker installing malware on your device without your knowledge.

These security updates are fixes for vulnerabilities found in software. Cybercriminals become aware of these vulnerabilities, sometimes from the patch notes themselves. These cybercriminals then begin searching and seeking devices which haven’t yet gotten updated with the fix.

If these criminals find vulnerability loopholes, they take advantage by installing dangerous software like Malware, Spyware, and Viruses. A VPN prevents this from ever happening because anything sent back to you from a website gets rerouted to the VPN providers servers where it’s instantly stopped.

Packet Sniffing

A wireless packet sniffer is an essential tool in preserving wireless networks. These powerful capabilities also make the sniffers a common method used for malicious attacks.

Cybercriminals will use wireless sniffer software to steal your information, spying on the network and gathering info to use in a larger attack. They want your login details and they can get them using these wireless sniffer tools.

The wireless sniffing attacks habitually target unsecure free public Wi-fi networks. These are busy public venues where many people can get targeted in a short time and the criminal can leave before anyone ever even realises. Securing your mobile devices with a VPN will automatically protect you on these networks.

What are cookies?

Cookies are little packets of data sent by a website and stored on your device by your web browser while you browse.

These cookies save your site preferences and data to make your next visit quicker and easier. Unfortunately, there are also bad cookies like Zombie cookies, Super cookies, third party tracking cookies, and worse.

These bad cookies cause major data breaches and huge privacy concerns! It is for this reason a NO LOG VPN gives you even more protection. Using a VPN changes your location, and this successfully detaches your identity from the cookies any website sends. Because it blocks these cookies, it makes it impossible for anyone to track your online activity or form an attack against you.

Spoofing Attacks

A Spoofing attack is when an attacker gains access to your personal information, and she then uses that info for a Man-in-the-Middle attack. A Man-in-the-Middle attack monitors everything you do online, gaining access to your auto fill forms & saved payment details until ultimately they can get access to your bank accounts.

Malicious Hotspots

Malicious Wi-fi hotspots are a sinister plan set up to trick people into connecting to a free Wi-fi hotspot set up with settings to get access to your private data.

The cybercriminal visits a busy bar, restaurant or venue and then sets up a malicious hotspot from his or her phone with a similar name to the establishment. The restaurant could be called “the steakhouse” and the cybercriminal would set up a “the_steakhouse” hotspot, hoping most people will not realise the difference and connect. While you’re connected, you volunteer your private information for viewing. You connected to the hotspot in good faith, but you likely will not have noticed the underscore_ in the name.

Public Wi-fi Safety

Stay safe using public Wi-fi with a V.P.N. VPN’s are inexpensive and are used for multiple devices. Protect your devices with a VPN and have the peace of mind that your data is safe while you are out and about.

How to protect yourself on public wifi

Safe

Not Safe

Deactivate File Sharing

Auto-Connecting to Networks

Only use sites with HTTPS

Logging in via an Unverified App

Secure Sites have a Lock icon

Keeping your Wi-fi on while not using it

Stay Logged Out

Using Networks that have no password

Other advantages of a VPN

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