How to protect your privacy on Public Wi-Fi networks

Privacy has become an important matter nowadays. Everyone wants to keep some privacy in his or her life. Now, in the era of internet, this factor has become somewhat secured for sure but at the same time, it became more vulnerable in some parts. Here, the discussion will be about one part – Wi-Fi Security.

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What is Public wi-fi network?

A decade ago, most of the houses owned one or two computers to use for everything and now, each family member have a device (pc, laptop, smartphone or whatever) to surf the net for his or her own purpose. However, it would be very costly to have a separate net connection for each device. Hence, most families have installed a wi-fi connection in their house. It has helped people to consume power and money and at the same time, gave the best possible net service. With time, its popularity have increased so much that many institutions, colleges, universities, companies, communities have installed wi-fi network n their area. These networks are called ‘public wi-fi network’ or ‘hotspot’. These may have even helped you in urgent needs but it can be the ‘treacherous first mate’ in your life.

Risk Factors:

The information you sent via a public hotspot goes in clear text (if you do not use any encrypted site) and anyone in the hotspot can see those with just some simple software tools. If they pick up any password you type in, that could be a very big problem if you use the same password for multiple sites.

Sometimes thieves set their own wi-fi setups naming “Public Hotspot” to lure you to use it so that they can access any data you send. These are easy to set with the help of a laptop or smartphone and a few equipments. Each year, more than two such incidents are reported globally.

If a hacker monitor decides to take you down after monitoring your traffic in any wi-fi network, he can do it by stealing your browsing data and cookies to find your username and passwords to discover all of your information and can pretend to be you to the site by using the cookies. At that time, you may be doomed forever.

How to save yourself:

Here are some tips to save your privacy from the threats –

  1. Always search for a secure connection, even if you have to pay to use it. Password protected networks are better than open networks.
  2. Do not enter any sensitive information such as your bank account details or your PayPal details or any kind of private details. Always keep your financial works left for your home network.
  3. If your device indicates any hotspot secured, check the security type. If it is WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), treat as an unsecured one as this type was built a decade ago and could be easily hacked. In present, only WPA (Wi-fi Protected Access) and WPA2 are best security types.
  4. If you have a smartphone, use it to enter public hotspot as phones are harder to hack.
  5. Always connect to websites via HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Secure) and look for a lock item from top to bottom in the browser while surfing net in public hotspot. These websites are encrypted and safe. If you cannot see any, do not enter or send any private details over.

Hope that, you have understood what to do to protect yourself while browsing in a public hotspot. Good luck and safe surfing.

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