Learn how to Protect Yourself from Public Wi-Fi Data Breaches
Public Wi-Fi allows us to log into any website we want without using our data package, which is great when you are on the go or want to hang out somewhere for a few hours. While using public Wi-Fi has its advantages, it can also put you at risk of having your personal data hacked and stolen. There are plenty of hackers who are just looking for the opportunity when people log into personal accounts through a free Wi-Fi connection to steal data. How can they do that and how can you protect yourself? here are the answers.
Tacking logins and capturing credentials
When you log into websites that require you to provide credentials, hackers may use the opportunity to hack into your personal data. How? By tracking logins that use FTP (File Transfer Protocol). These days, social media websites, online shopping sites (e-commerce websites), banking websites, and others all use FTP, so when you log into such sites through public Wi-Fi, you are at risk of having your data breached.
Viewing pages that you are visiting
A hacker doesn’t have to hack into your computer to see what you are seeing when using public Wi-Fi. When you are in a public place, your computer screen is fair game for certain people, and they can take snaps of your screen when you log into various websites, steal credit card numbers when you are shopping online, and take advantage of the fact that you are in a public place to watch your screen whenever they desire and take photos of it.
With your personal information in hand, hackers can set up accounts in your name, steal your credit card data, steal your identity, and perform several cybercrimes simply because you logged into a public Wi-Fi network.
How to use public Wi-Fi safely
Now that you know how people can take advantage of your whenever you use a public Wi-Fi network, it's time to find out how to protect yourself with these public Wi-Fi safety tips:
Use a VPN
One of the safest tools to protect your data is a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPN's encrypt data traffic and protect servers and browsers from a data breach. When you use a VPN, the data transferred from your computer/mobile device will not be visible to hackers. As a result, hackers will not be able to access your personal data and use it. Also, VPN's mask your personal IP address and make it seem like you are in an entirely different place.
Only use a Wi-Fi network of reputable businesses
Before you log into a public network, make sure you are using a signal from a reputable business. "Free coffee and bagels joint Wi-Fi" won't do the trick. Hackers can use the names of businesses to set up false public Wi-Fi networks, so before you log in, make sure the Wi-Fi belongs to an establishment you can trust.
Do not use unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks
Aside from businesses, you should also avoid using public Wi-Fi that you do not recognize. For instance, if you suddenly see that a neighbor has opened their network for public use, do not log into it immediately. You can use GoLookUp's people search directory to discover whether your neighbors have a criminal past, and who among them may abuse their Wi-Fi network to hack into other people's data. In any case, you should be careful with unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks that may harm you.
Those of you who prefer not to use a VPN or you do not have access to such a service should use HTTPS. When using public Wi-Fi, only go on websites with HTTP in the site's address. HTTPS encrypt data between the browser and the server, thus providing you an additional layer of security when using Wi-Fi.
Do not skip the Antivirus
For some reason, antivirus software has gotten a bad rap over the years, with people thinking it is a rip-off. Yes, it is true that to get quality antivirus software you will need to pay, but the money you invest in it is nothing compared to the amount that may be stolen from you by hackers. To protect yourself from Wi-Fi breaches, invest in a quality antivirus and make sure you always run the latest version of the program. An antivirus will let you know if viruses that are intended to steal data have been loaded to your device, and will get rid of the threat for you.
A free Wi-Fi connection provides quick, easy, and cost-free access to the internet when you need one. However, it also provides hackers with the opportunity to get their hands on your personal data. When using public Wi-Fi, make sure you protect yourself from a data breach by using a few simple tips to avoid problems.