The Myths of Public WiFi Networks and Password Protection


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People often think that public WiFi networks are completely safe just because they see the ‘padlock’ icon on their phones. Of course, this indicates that it is password-protected, meaning that only those who have the access codes may be able to use the WiFi connection in that certain spot.

The thing is, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, anyone with the right skills can get into public WiFi networks and access your data. A simple Google search will give you access to a list of malicious software that can do just that.

If you think that these are only accessible to hackers and geeks with a lot of experience, think again. Hackers have created some easy-to-use tools that will let anyone hack into a network using just a smartphone.

For anyone who has not cared to implement proper precautions and security measures when using a public WiFi network, this means that they are now vulnerable to this possibility.

What Is the Level of Difficulty When Stealing Data on a WiFi Network?

As mentioned before, it is incredibly quite easy. You can find vulnerable WiFi networks using the software. Once you have access to a vulnerable network, all that you need to do is simply sniff the network traffic.

Sniffing is the process of intercepting network traffic so that you can view the data. This is accomplished through a process known as ARP spoofing.

A hacker can also install software on your device that will allow them to access your data, or they can simply trick you with a pop-up message claiming that there’s a problem with your device and that you need to enter some details in order to fix it.

This is then transferred to the hacker’s device.

What Are the Ways for Me to Secure My Data When Using Public WiFi?

1. Use a VPN

Because of how easy it is to access your data when using a public WiFi network, you need to install a virtual private network (VPN) on your device. This software encrypts all of your outgoing and incoming traffic, preventing anyone from sniffing your data while using the WiFi network.

2. Use HTTPS

Another good way to avoid being hacked is by using HTTPS. When you click on a link to a website on your device, it will often show the URL in your browser. If the URL begins with HTTP and not HTTPS, then it is not secure. This means that it is easy for others to access your data while you are browsing the site.

This is why it is important to ensure that the URL you visit begins with HTTPS.

3. Turn OFF WiFi When Not in Use

When you’re not actually using your device for something, it is best for you to turn off the WiFi to prevent hackers from accessing your data. It’s easy to think that you’re done with a page and then have your phone automatically connect to a public WiFi network when you’re not paying attention.

Conclusion

Public WiFi networks are convenient, but they come with a lot of risks. These networks are not secure, which means that anyone can access your data while you’re connected to them. Many people rely on public WiFi networks when they are out and about, which can put them in a rather dangerous situation.

Luckily, there are so many ways for you to protect yourself. You can install a VPN on your device so that it encrypts your data. You can also use HTTPS for all your websites and turn off your WiFi when you’re not using it.

If you take these precautions, you will have a much safer experience when using public WiFi networks.

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