Risks Of Using Public WiFi You Should Know: Public Wi-Fi, whether it’s in an open coffee shop, library or train station an outlet store is a great way to connect to the internet wherever you are. You can utilize it to send emails, connect to your banking accounts, or even browse for news articles.
Access to Wi-Fi in general is convenient and necessary for our modern lives however it’s not as safe as it appears. Many people who connect to public Wi-Fi networks are unaware of the danger they face in sharing the important, secret, or sensitive information that could create a huge problem for an experienced hacker.
Read Also, 7 Best Tips To Protect Yourself On Public WiFi
7 Risks Of Using Public WiFi You Should Know
1. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
When you connect to the internet through Wi-Fi your device establishes a connection to either the network router or server which connects users to the internet. A Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) threat takes place when a hacker places themself between your device and the point of connection.
Instead of communicating directly with the intended users the data you’re transmitting to the attacker, who transmits it to the attacker. Criminals often employ special software that can monitor and manipulate the data flowing through and out of your device.
This means that they could get login information, alter the payment information, or even discover where an order needs to be delivered. The attackers are also able to get your credit card numbers as well as commit fraud on your financial account. They may make purchases, withdraw cash and even solicit loans on your behalf.
2. Snooping and sniffing
Hackers are able to listen to Wi-Fi networks in public. Utilizing specific software, an attacker on the network will be able to see what you’re doing with your device while you’re using Wi-Fi that is public. Sometimes, hackers simply look up the history of your internet browsing.
If you’re not lucky the attacker could take your login information to gain access to sensitive information, and cause a data leak.
The criminals could also use special software that can capture data packets that are flowing across networks of computers. This allows attackers to collect the data transmitted over the network that includes IP addresses and passwords.
3. Malware Infections
Hackers are able to infect an unsecured Wi-Fi network with malware that then spreads to the devices connected to it. A few attackers can hack into the connection itself and then send fake pop-ups that ask you to update your favorite software. When you click on them, malware is installed.
After the malware has infected your device, the attacker could steal sensitive data as well as delete data, and even make your device inoperable. The most frightening aspect is you may not even be aware that your device is affected by malware.
4. Information stolen from personal details
If a hacker gains access to your personal computer or devices via a compromised Wi-Fi network it could give them full control over all data saved. For instance, they could gain an access point to login details and log in to your credit card or bank’s website.
After hackers have obtained your information they could access your personal websites and harm your finances and your reputation. If they don’t have all access to the information on your computer, they may still get information that you’re transmitting over the internet.
5. Unsecured connections
If you are connected to a site that has encryption support and data transmission, the information that is sent between the two sites is encrypted with a secure key. If someone attempted to access the data, without access to the key, they’d be unable to read it.
The data would appear to be an unreadable code on a computer. Some websites don’t provide encryption, however. A secure connection allows hackers to track the entire file-sharing process and all traffic that is transferred between server and user when connected to a Wi-Fi network that is public.
6. Cyberattacks on businesses
Business travelers and others traveling during the day can connect to Wi-Fi in public areas to check their email download files, check customer information as well as perform others tasks that demand the use of a network connection.
The majority of businesses have security precautions implemented to minimize the possibility of connecting via Wi-Fi. However, in the event that employees or you require to sign in to some kind of security software to gain access to the network of your company, however, there are some dangers with the internet on a public network.
As an example, do not have any idea what Wi-Fi service providers may track. Many public Wi-Fi connections are free however that doesn’t mean there’s no cost to use them. The Wi-Fi provider could be keeping track of all the activities you perform through the Wi-Fi connection. They may also offer your information to advertisers.
7. Session hijacking
Public Wi-Fi networks are the door to what’s called session hijacking. It is the process of exploiting a legitimate internet browsing session. In this scenario, the attacker steals information regarding your computer and the connection it has to websites or other services.
If the attacker is able to access the information, he will be able to set his computer to be compatible with yours and thereby hijack the connection. For instance, hackers can steal your bank’s site after you sign into your account.
At the bank’s end of the link, it could appear to be a computer, and since you’re already signed into your account, the hacker could gain access to all the information within your account.