23 July 2021, Kathmandu
With so many places in our digital world where we are vulnerably susceptible to cybercriminals assailants, perhaps at the top of the list is when we are utilizing public Wi-Fi.
Free internet sounds great, but as is the case with most things in the world of cybersecurity and cybercrime, free conventionally betokens are not very secure. With no desideratum to authenticate to establish a network connection, free Wi-Fi provides a facile opportunity for cybercriminals to access your sensitive information to do any number of things with it, none of which are good.
Some employees who need to work remotely, traveling on trains, and working on the move may need extra training in understanding how to safely use public Wi-Fi accommodations. Fake public Wi-Fi networks, often posing in coffee shops as free Wi-Fi, can leave end-users vulnerably susceptible to entering information into non-secure public servers.
Inculcating your users on the safe utilization of public Wi-Fi and the mundane signs to spot a potential scam will increment the companies’ cognizance and minimize jeopardy. The WIRED magazine provides an auxiliary guide on evading the perils of public Wi-Fi.
Cybersecurity threats during Covid-19
That being verbalized, you may find yourself in a situation where your only Wi-Fi option is public and unsecured. Even still, you require taking action on a business task now. If such a situation arises, here are some tips to avail you with the utilization of public Wi-Fi:
- When you are in a public place, don’t postulate because it verbally expresses “McDonald’s free Wi-Fi” on your phone that you are connecting to McDonald’s internet. Many malefactors will operate legitimate names to bamboozle you into celebrating you are connecting to the right place. Always ask the accommodation provider for the exact spelling of their hotspot denomination.
- While utilizing public Wi-Fi, never authenticate into a site that accesses your sensitive information — no health care sites, no banking or financial websites, and nothing that requires a password.
- Utilize SSL to encrypt your communications when accessing web accounts or email. To do this, ascertain the website URLs you visit verbalize HTTPS and not just HTTP.
- Always utilize a VPN. Virtual private networks provide an even more preponderant bulwark when accessing a corporate network.
- Always utilize a secure wireless provider. They will give you a secret passphrase required to access their accommodation.
- Incapacitate Wi-Fi auto-connect. Configure your Wi-Fi to connect only to hotspots you cull and not automatically to whatever hotspot is available.
- Turn off Wi-Fi when it’s not in utilization. This will obviate unintended connections.
- Invest in an illimitable data plan to obviate the desideratum for having to utilize public Wi-Fi.
Why using public Wi-Fi connections may be dangerous?
Among the main public Wi-Fi, perils are the jeopardies of data breaches and malware infections. In the first scenario, public Wi-Fi hackers can intercept the information you transmit via an unprotected connection. In the second scenario, cybercriminals can present you with an imitation of a legitimate website, illuding you into downloading malware.
Utilizing an unsecured public Wi-Fi network provides hackers with an immensely colossal opportunity. Here’s what makes it vulnerably susceptible:
- No or impotent password auspice
- Misconfigured Wi-Fi routers
- Outdated router software
- Plenty of careless users
- Joining an unauthentically spurious Wi-Fi hotspot
By 2023, there will be proximately 628 million public Wi-Fi hotspots. And as their number grows, so do the potential hazards.
How to stay safe on public Wi-Fi
Here’s what you require to do if you operate to minimize public Wi-Fi security risks:
- Use a VPN
- Turn off Bluetooth and file-sharing
- Don’t open or send sensitive data
- Use an antivirus
- Enable firewall
Public Wifi Security
In a recent survey, 70% of tablet owners and 53% of smartphone / mobile phone owners verbalized that they utilize public Wi-Fi hotspots. However, because data sent through public Wi-Fi can facilely be intercepted; many mobile contrivance and laptop users are imperiling the security of their personal information, digital identity, and money. Furthermore, if their contrivance or computer is not forfended by an efficacious security and anti-malware product… the jeopardies are even more preponderant.
What are the risks of utilizing public Wi-Fi?
Those who don’t ken how to utilize public Wi-Fi safely might expeditiously find themselves in trouble. To eschew this, you should always keep your sentinel up against the following perils of open wireless networks.
- Identity larceny
- Data breach
- Malware infection
- Packet sniffing or eavesdropping