Risks of Using Public Wi-Fi

Risks of Using Public Wi-Fi

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The holidays are drawing nearer, which means more and more people will be going on holidays and working remotely. While working from anywhere has its advantages, it doesn’t come risk-free either. When connecting to public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, in the airport, or at your hotel, you need to be mindful of these common hazards of public Wi-Fi usage.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks are one of the most common threats when using public Wi-Fi. Put simply, it’s a form of listening in where a hacker positions themselves between the Wi-Fi user and the connection point, allowing them to “eavesdrop” on the transmissions being made.

Rogue Wi-Fi Networks

Hackers are known to create trick Wi-Fi networks that look legitimate in order to entice users into using their network, which allows the hacker to view your information. In short, confirm you’re logging onto the real network when working from a coffee shop or hotel lobby – the staff will know the name of the network the business created.

Snooping and Sniffing

Hackers will use special software kits that let them listen in on Wi-Fi signals, allowing hackers to access everything you’re doing online. This becomes especially dangerous when you login to a secure platform, like online banking or your email address, as hackers are able to capture your login credentials.

Malware Distribution

Hackers can also sneak malware onto your computer without you knowing, thanks to software vulnerabilities and unsecure Wi-Fi. Malware makes it easy for hackers to steal data from your device, even after you disconnect from the Wi-Fi network.

Some Simple Ways To Protect Yourself

So what can you do to protect yourself while working remotely? Here are some best practices.

  • Turn off Wi-Fi Auto-Connect
  • Set up a mobile hotspot through your cellphone provider or tether your laptop to a mobile device
  • Ensure your firewall is enabled on all your devices
  • Log out of your accounts when you’re done using them
  • Use VPN software to make sure your public connection stays private

Call us for details on any of these recommendations.