Public WiFi is a fantastic thing, the freedom you feel from using your laptop in a cafeteria is a delight of the new age, but just how secure is it to connect with these free open networks? What are the dangers that are waiting to understand your personal data? And how can you keep yourself safe and protected?
According to a Nielsen / Harris poll in March 2014, more than 66% of American adults say they have used public WiFi with more than a quarter of those admitting to a bank account while on an open and unprotected Internet connection . It may seem completely harmless since the dangers are not visible at all, but they are certainly real …
A public WiFi connection is rarely adequately protected, which means that hackers can intercept the requests that are made on the network. An example of a request is “Login” to a social media site, this sends your username / email and password over the network, to the servers of the website you are using, which checks to see if they are correct.
If you are using public WiFi, you should expect that you entered your data incorrectly, as it may well have been sent directly to a criminal’s computer! Most people use the same password for almost all accounts or services, so once a domino falls, the rest are likely to follow.
Your next destination is usually your email account, since it can be used as a “master key” for every other account / service, sending requests to reset a password to whatever they choose.
The ramifications caused by simply accessing a social network may seem bad, but the effects are much worse when you use your bank information on a free public Wi-Fi network in the same way that social networking logins are sent to a computer. hackers (oversimplification), credit / debit card details and bank logins are susceptible.
As you can imagine, credit card details can be exploited far more than social media connections. They can be used to empty your bank account or even sold on the dark web, which are horrible options for the victim!
If you use public Wi-Fi on your phone or tablet, you’re at risk!
This may sound very scary, but there are ways you can protect yourself. Your first choice is not to use any public WiFi network, but that is a pretty drastic measure and is not necessarily a solution to our problem – consumers want to use it and stay safe while they do it.
Your best option is to use an antivirus, our favorite is Scanguard, a security suite made for smartphones, laptops and desks. The software is mainly an antivirus, but it has a series of acceleration, optimization and security tools that can be activated with a single touch.
Millions of people have resorted to this free security check provided by Scanguard.
To check if the security scan is still available, select your operating system below.
Scan your computer works on Windows, Mac, Linux and All Your Devices Mobile