For those without internet, so-called “free” WiFi is a blessing. Or is it?
Even when they have WiFi at home, many choose to use the WiFi that is available in public spaces. But is free WiFi invading your privacy?
Because, there is no such thing as a free lunch, or free WiFi.
It seems almost anywhere you go now, from McDonald’s to the Ritz, everyone is starting to offer free WiFi.
But is this convenience too good to be true? Or is free WiFi mining your data and invading your privacy?
Is it true others can hack your very private information like your credit cards and even your social security number?
Free WIFI seems to be one of the many blessings of our modern age.
But is it truly a blessing? Or is it something more dangerous in disguise.
WiFi is readily available everywhere, from your local coffee shop, to the library, to the airport. Almost anyone with an internet-ready device uses public WiFi.
But the use of this modern convenience can come at a very steep cost.
In some instances, individuals with malicious intent can create an open, non-password protected WiFi that mimics the name of the business you’re in.
You innocently connect to this network, thinking it belongs to wherever you may be spending your time. Little do you know, this network was created with the sole intent of stealing your identity.
You can even download viruses to your computer simply by connecting to these networks.
And even if you connect to a legitimate WiFi network, say at your local coffee shop, it is incredibly easy for someone to hack that network and still steal your private information.
There are a few ways that you can protect yourself from being hacked and having your data stolen.
One such way is to turn off file sharing in your computer’s settings. This is one step towards preventing hackers from downloading your private files.
Another way to protect yourself is by using a VPN, a virtual private network. VPNs help encrypt your data before it reaches the server, thus making it harder to gain access to from outside sources.
You can even set up VPNs on your cellular device if you are one of the many who rely on their phone for work.
Always check that the site you are connecting to is secure when using a public network. You want to look for the lock icon in your browser, along with an HTTPS at the start on the hyperlink, rather than an HTTP.
Never update programs or apps over public WiFi.
Downloads and alerts can appear on your screen prompting you to update your software. These alerts can turn out to be malware and viruses in disguise.
It’s important to always have your apps up to date. Updated software is less susceptible to viruses than outdated versions that have been around longer.
Remember to always forget networks. You never want your computer to automatically connect to a public network. And never do anything that is confidential or requires security.
Save your online shopping for when you get home; especially when it involves using your credit card number.
And never, never type personal information like your social security number or passport information into a form on a public network. This information can easily be stolen and used to steal your identity.
Have tips to keep readers safe on a public network? Let us know in the comments below!