Featured Image Caption: What is Public Wi-Fi and Security Risks
Accessing the internet through your home or personal network, and using Xfinity router to keep your network stable and secure. But the use of free public Wi-Fi is another thing. Nowadays, public Wi-Fi systems are available easily in various places, but the use of these networks is not that much safe and straightforward as it is with your network.
There used to be many risks attached to these networks which pose hazards to the digital health of users. Connection to unsecured public wi-fi can allow others to see essential emails, passwords, and usernames, encrypted messages, unsecured logins and can expose your device to cyber-attacks.
The use of these public networks poses a severe threat to the online health of the users, as it cannot always be known who set it up and who else is connecting to it.
What is Public wi-fi?
When people may access the internet in a particular physical area through a hotspot for free, it’s termed as public wi-fi. These hotspots use the wireless local-area network (WLAN), through router connection to provide high-speed wireless network connections and internet across devices.
These public wi-fi connections may be found in places like malls, coffee shops, railway stations, airports, hotels, and restaurants, etc. These networks are generally used by portable devices like laptops, tablets, or smartphones to access the internet. Nowadays, public wifi is available mostly at all places, and people frequently connect to them.
Why is Public wi-fi a Health Hazard?
It sounds reasonable to use public wi-fi and navigate through your browser, reading emails, news articles, checking your social media account, and logging into banking credentials, but it may be a risky deal. Many risks come handy with these public connection networks while the network provider may think that by providing free internet access, they are serving their customers. Still, these networks pose very high risks to users. So, as routerlogin.mobi suggests here you should make sure to keep yourself safe.
These risks related to stolen personal data and sensitive information of the user like attackers can read from financial data to personal information like even the sexual orientation of the user through the lope holes of these networks.
The public Wi-Fi can be termed as a public health hazard due to the reasons listed below-
1. Prone to Man in the Middle attacks
The most common threat attached to public wi-fi networks is called a Man in the Middle (MitM) attack. As when any computer system makes a connection to the internet, it sends data from point one (for e. g. computer A) to another (point B in the form of service or website). And vulnerabilities of an unsecured public network present a golden chance for attackers to get in between this transmissions process and read or intercept the data of users.
2. Malware Attack Vulnerability
There are many ways to slip malware onto your portable devices or computer through public networks. Various security holes or vulnerabilities used to be present in software programs and operating systems.
Attackers can utilize these software vulnerabilities and inject malware into devices of users, without the user ever getting known about it. Infected software on any computer and equipment can quickly steal the financial and other data of the user.
3. Unsecured or Unencrypted Networks
An unsecured or unencrypted network refers to an interface whose encryption setting is turned off. Encryption refers to the secret code messages which are being sent from any computer to the wireless router.
These codes cannot be read without the key to decipher the law, making a network secure. Generally, encryption in routers is turned off by default from the factory itself. It requires to be turned on while the system is being set up.
And in any case, where this encryption is not being turned on in a public Wi-Fi network, these networks may act as jackpots to cybercriminals as they can quickly obtain the sensitive data of the users through it.
4. Malicious or Rouge hotspots
These malicious or rogue access points trick users into connecting to a network that seemed to be a secured network. For example, you are staying in a hotel and want to join the Wi- Fi of the hotel. You search on your device and connect to a network named after your hotel without asking from the hotel about their available system.
All seems right here but it may not be so as you may have just connected to a rogue network setup by hackers or cybercriminals who can now get access to your sensitive information and valuable data on your device.
5. Wi-fi Snooping and Sniffing
Another risk of particular public wi-fi is cybercriminals using a type of software kits and devices, which enables them to eavesdrop on public wi-fi signals. This eavesdrop allows hackers to access each and everything that users are doing online.
The hackers can easily access visited websites, webpages, logins credentials that the user has entered, and can even hijack their accounts. This practice of attackers is known as snooping and sniffing.
By Kaushal Malkan
who writes, you can always find me playing the piano or playing FIFA when I’m not binge-watching TV Series with pizzas. I’m always up for trying out new things. Life motto: The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.