Security tips for public WiFi and wireless hotspots:
In recent years, our reliance on wireless fidelity has greatly increased and the convenience of having a connection to it in public spaces means more and more people are connecting to public networks. For students, using public Wi-Fi is very quick and easy, which is what they need in order to finish that project before the deadline or to do some research on the go. The increased network traffic can cause a multitude of problems, from malicious attacks to privacy vulnerability.
What threats are there?
Here, we offer a list of potential threats to your system and how to avoid them.
• Possibly the most common form of attack is the ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack. This involves a third party positioning themselves between you and your connected party without either party knowing. They can then intercept your data and read it – this is especially dangerous for businesses, as company data can be used by the wrong person.
• Similar to MITM attacks, cybercriminals can access your online data through snooping or sniffing. They can access everything remote users are doing online, allowing them to potentially catch any login credentials or sensitive information that is input. They can even take control of your account and shut you out completely.
• Sometimes, attackers may set up a rogue Wi-Fi network, which looks innocent enough, until you connect to it and the creator can access any devices on the network. Rogue networks act as a sort of trap that tricks people into thinking it is a normal, free Wi-Fi connection.
• Worm attacks are very dangerous. They can cause lots of damage across any part of a device because, unlike a virus, it doesn’t need a program to attach itself to. It can also move between devices, meaning that even if you are not directly targeted by a hacker on a public network, someone else might be, and the worm can spread to you.
Here are some ways to prevent these breaches in privacy – useful if you’re working on a thesis or another important project.
• The most common and effective way to avoid unwanted cyber activity is by using a virtual private network, or ‘VPN’. A VPN will encrypt any data sent out of your device so no one on the same network can see the information. There are other, more complex ways to encrypt data, but a VPN is the easiest and most affordable way to do so. There are many options for VPN providers such as NordVPN or Fastlane, so make sure to do some research before deciding on one.
• Passwords are one of the most sought-after pieces of data for cybercriminals so consider some options with securing your credentials. There are some apps that you can download if you want to keep your passwords and login details secure, but make sure only to use your device’s recommended app store (e.g. Apple App Store for iPhones and Macs). Downloading anything from the internet on your phone is not recommended as it can open your device to malicious software.
Always be extra careful when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks and try not to join the ones without passwords. Be aware of scams whenever you go online and, if possible, don’t even take your devices with you when travelling. For more information, visit www.promovendux.com