Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Free WiFi is everywhere today. At the restaurant down the street your auto repair shop and your hair salon. WiFi is great, it connects you to the wonderful world of the internet, however with all the free WiFi out there another risk is associated.
When you connect to a WiFi network anyone else on that same connected network has access to you and what you do. Unless you have educated yourself on how to stay safe on a WiFi network and then initiate the right practices you will likely be a victim of a hacker on the WiFi network you are connected to.
In a free public WiFi situation generally hundreds of people over time will connect to that network. During that time they will do a variety of things. Including checking their social media and reading their email. What you do on public WiFi is important, because what you do could be seen by a nefarious source. Most business owners put in free WiFi to add value for their clients, they are not in the business of securing their network or making sure you are secure. Because of this it is very easy for a hacker to take control of that free WiFi and watch everything you do on that network.
What are you doing when you connect to public WiFi?
Are you checking your bank account?
This is all information any hacker will want to have. They will steal your information and sell it on the dark web. You should not be using free public WiFi to do critical tasks like check your bank account or shop online. Reserve those for your secure home or work network. (YOU DO HAVE YOUR HOME NETWORK SECURED RIGHT?)
How do you stay safe on public WiFi?
1. Get a VPN "Virtual Private Network" this is an encrypted connection that can be set up on all of your devices so that no matter where you are you can connect to this and then connect to any site out on the internet without someone else's eyes watching.
2. Do not use public WiFi... honestly this is what I do.
The only real protection is a VPN. And even then that is only as safe as the VPN provider. I am a very cynical person and I do not trust networks I do not mange. You may have connected to many public WiFi's with no issue. However at some point you will be not so lucky.
If you need help securing your home or business or setting up a VPN, WiFi, DataCom Technologies is a full service IT company ready to help you stay safe online.
Learn more about how to stay safe on public WiFi in our podcast.