A free Wi-Fi connection can seem like a lifesaver when you’re on the go. Public Wi-Fi can be found in popular public places like airports, coffee shops, malls, restaurants, and hotels — and it allows you to access the Internet for free. Of course, we all know jumping on a free Internet connection can be a convenient way to access online accounts, catch up on work, and check emails while on the go. These “hotspots” are so widespread and common that people frequently connect to them without thinking twice. However, the security risks should not be forgotten.
If you decide to use public Wi-Fi, just be aware that you could be making yourself an easy target for hackers — and putting your information and more at risk. Although it sounds harmless to log on and check your social media account or browse some news articles, reading e-mail, checking your bank account, or performing any activity that requires a login is risky business on public Wi-Fi.
The average free public Wi-Fi isn’t secure and just because you may need a password to log in, it doesn’t mean your online activities are encrypted. Various reasons make public Wi-Fi susceptible to attack. One issue has to do with the encryption protocol used by some wireless networks. Another reason has to do with the possibility of joining a rogue Wi-Fi hotspot.
While the best way to protect your information is to avoid accessing sensitive information or performing sensitive transactions when connected to public Wi-Fi, there are additional measures you should be aware of. These articles can help you learn more about the risks and what else you can do to be safe when surfing on Wi-Fi anywhere.