Internet has become a need of mankind without a shadow of doubt. While iOTs (Internet of Things) are perfect example, WiFi works as breath for connectivity. Surprisingly various organizations are offering free public WiFi which are ultimately disastrous.
Users in public places including restaurants, libraries, airports, franchises and universities are pleased to connect free WiFi without even going through the terms and conditions of use. In reality these users are under crucial security threats. If you want to know the major downsides of free public Wi-Fi in detail, continue reading the post.
Why Are Public WiFi Unsecure?
The reason these WiFi are so untrustworthy is their terms and conditions for usage. When we unknowingly accept the policies for public WiFi, our confidential information can get snooped fairly easily by any person on same wifi network. It is similar as if you keep your house’s entrance gate open all night assuming your belongings are safe.
The snooped information is useful for different data gathering corporations. You may expect your credit card number to be sold against some dollars.
These organizations clearly states how unsecure you are when connected to the wifi. These organizations admit data privacy breaches in their policies. We seldom look into these extremely useful guidelines
“The internet is an inherently unsecure communication medium. Whilst Melbourne Airport will use reasonable endeavors to provide secure access through this Hotspot, it cannot guarantee the security of the Hotspot at all times.”
“You acknowledge that the transmission of information via the internet and via the Service is not secure.”
Student’s Link Wifi USA
“You acknowledge that the Service is inherently not secure and that wireless communications can be intercepted by equipment and software designed for that purpose.”
The Threats To Our Online Security
What if someone manages to hack into your personal laptop when you are having coffee in Starbucks and using public wifi network. The hacker get his hands on significant information regarding the programs you are running. In case you are viewing a controversial, banned, unsavory or political content then you might get scandalized as well. You may expect these threats when using open wifi networks:
- Phishing and hacking attacks
- Blackmailed against your private data
- Fraudulent funds transfer
- Fancy ads to attract users for hacking purposes
Never underestimate the threats to your data privacy. The hacker and snooper don’t require physical access to information. Just a click on advertising email is enough to infect your laptop with Trojans and worms which will steal your wealthy information without your knowledge.
Snooping and phishing aren’t the only attacks to your data privacy, you may face restriction on your online freedom when connected to free wifi networks. Most of public networks set restrictions on certain type of content including;
- Pornographic and Sexual material
- Drug related content
- Offensive Forums
- Streaming Services
- Entertainment Platforms
You may expect to compromise your online freedom when using public wifi. Although in some states drug usage is legal for recreational purposes including Colorado and Alaska but the restriction in public WiFi still exists.
How To Protect Yourself!
When it comes to online protection, a proxy service may be the least expensive option out there. However nothing is expensive than your privacy including your personal photographs, bank account details, credit card numbers and email ID which you have been using for a long time.
VPN is the only option for you which provides safe and secure online browsing. It cloaks your IP address with a server in other country. In other words you become anonymous to stalkers, hackers and data surveillance agencies. Even more it passes your data through dedicated tunnels making your data encrypted and impossible to read.
Even if it falls in wrong hand it will be of no use. There are countless VPN providers who deliver excellent service. However, only a handful of VPN services offer a comprehensive list of privacy features to their users.
Other Safety Do’s & Dont’s when using Free Wi-Fi
Apart from using a premium VPN service, you shouldn’t overlook these do’s and dont’s while surfing the web through free Wi-Fi. These do’s and dont’s are:
Do know When it’s good to use Free Wi-Fi
You can surf the web on public networks when you want to know about different common things like weather forecast, current affairs, famous tourist destinations and so on. This way, you only access information that you assume is safe to share with other users.
If you are accessing sites without entering your logins and passwords, you are using public Wi-Fi in the right way.
Do note that Thieves don’t take vacations throughout the year
These days online snoopers and hackers are trying their level best when they want to access users’ online browsing activities on public Wi-Fi networks. After using Wi-Fi sniffing devices, cyber-criminals can keep an eye on your web surfing activities on an open network.
Do use another internet browser
You can easily safeguard your passwords and browsing histories if you use alternate internet browsers while traveling or on the go. Similarly, you can browse the sites in incognito mode that do not require passwords at all.
Do secure your important devices and apps
This is another tip you must follow to protect your privacy on free Wi-Fi. You should apply password protection mechanism on all your important devices and apps as this tactic will keep you safe even in case your device gets stolen. It means unwanted personnel cannot access to your crucial information despite using your devices illegally.
Don’t use free public Wi-Fi to access financial information
This is a rule of thumb that suggests you should not access financial website or app on an open network. Therefore, you should think at least twice before performing any financial transaction. Likewise, you should not send or receive emails that include your sensitive personal data.
Don’t forget to log out
You should not forget to sign out from your accounts after using different social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.