Free public WiFi. It’s a blessing for those with a need to connect on the go, and with low mobile data allowances. However, it can also be a curse. There are many dangers when connecting to a public network. How can you keep yourself safe?
Free Wi-Fi: The Risk for Users
We recently visited a tourist attraction in the UK and connected to the unsecured free WiFi. By using freely available tools on a mobile phone, we were able to identify all the users on the network and could easily have scanned their devices for open ports or other vulnerabilities. We interrogated a printer to avoid compromising anyone’s privacy, but hackers could have easily exploited the many devices connected to the network
Every time you connect to public WiFi you run the risk of your data being intercepted. Some unscrupulous criminals even create fake WiFi hotspots with the same names as real ones, so you actually connect to their data logger and not the internet. Imagine the consequences if your card data or personal information were to be stolen. Hackers can even install malicious software or ransomware onto your machine over free WiFi.
Digitalquill – Experts in Cyber Security
If you connect to public WiFi, then there are some simple precautions you can take.
- Avoid unsecured connections – if the supplier has given you a logon code, then it is marginally safer but still risky.
- Make sure Windows is updated with the latest security patches before connecting to new networks.
- Avoid putting credit card details into splash screens that pop up. Sign up for paid WiFi on a separate device before connecting whenever possible.
- Use a VPN to encrypt data going to and from your device. We offer a low-cost VPN service for business travellers that is ideal for use on public networks.
- Sign up to our AVG managed virus protection service. Up-to-date virus protection is essential for your Windows devices.
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