As the trend of remote work and online Education increases, more people have started using public Wi-Fi than ever before. In fact, 47% of People claim to use public Wi-Fi in the US. Most of this usage is from People who want to cut down on cellular data while many others use it for remote work and online study.
So, even though there are options for fast and reliable cellular data connectivity from providers such as AT&T, people still use Public Wi-Fi for many reasons. However, these free hotspots may look safe on the outside but carry lots of risks. Therefore, if you work with a lot of sensitive, personal and private information, you better avoid using these dangerous spots altogether. Instead, click here to get an affordable and High speed cellular plan from a good internet connection.
Still, many people prefer using free Wi-Fi hotspots because, well they are free. Another reason is that cellular data like 5G drains the Battery quickly, and public Wi-Fi is a cheap way to go online. However, if you are not protected by a Security suite and anti malware tool, the risks are even higher.
So, all in all, working with public Wi-Fi raises many questions. In this article, we will discuss them in detail.
Is Public Wi-Fi Unsafe?
Although many legitimate networks are made Available to the general public, some pose serious security risks. So, it is important to be Fully aware of the threats, stay careful when connecting to public Wi-Fi, and take proper precautions to make your online visit safe and secure.
Signs of an Unsafe Wi-Fi Hotspot
Public Wi-Fi is free real estate for hackers and scammers. However, some go even further to create a hotspot network just to lure in unfortunate users. So, it is important to know the signs of such malicious networks to stay safe and secure. Some of the common indications are as follows:
Fake Network Name
Sometimes hackers set up a deceiving Wi-Fi network that matches a trusted network. Some people notice this but not everyone. Examples of this are duplicate networks or seeing a home network when you are actually away from home.
When visiting a webpage, ensure it loads as an HTTPS site and not HTTP only. If that is not the case, you are probably connected to a rogue Wi-Fi network. During the time you are connected, your information is most likely at risk of being a victim of a MITM attack.
Generic Wi-Fi Name
Some Wi-Fi names are too vague to be believable, and you should keep an eye out for those networks. For example, Free Wi-Fi is a very generic name that could be a trap set by cybercriminals to lure in people. Remember, authentic Wi-Fi networks at coffee shops or other places will have a more specific name that will represent the brand or shop.
Can Public Wi-Fi Watch Your History?
Yes, if you are not careful. The router saves the website visit history of the user, and the connection owner can use that to track the activity as well as the history.
What Should You Avoid Doing on Public Wi-Fi?
If a free public hotspot is the only option left to go online, it would be best if you avoid doing the following:
- Online banking and transactions
- Paying bills and fees
- Filing taxes
Avoiding these and other such activities like filling out forms, and entering personal details and credentials, will lower the risk of your private information falling into the wrong hands.
Is Public Wi-Fi Safety the Same as Private?
Absolutely not, a public Wi-Fi carries many risks and is far from being as safe as a private network. Unlike private networks, you don’t know who owns the free hotspot you wish to connect to, who runs it, and who else is connected or watching it. Moreover, using public Wi-Fi without safety precautions can put you and your device at risk of being a victim of cyberattack(s).
Although public Wi-Fi is a blessing, there are more than one risk linked with it. So, the best way to prevent being a cybercriminals’ target is to subscribe to a trustworthy and reliable cellular plan. You can get the best deal from AT&T, which also includes ActiveArmor security as an additional line of defense. Learn more to seach more internet providers.
Using public Wi-Fi is not prohibited, and not all networks are bad. All you need to do is stay careful and keep a lookout for any malicious activities to keep yourself safe online.