Thanks to the cyber criminals of the world, the convenience of public Wi-Fi networks come with some risk. Here, some tips to keep your confidential information safe.
Whether we’re getting some work done at a local café or bored out of our tree at the airport, free public Wi-Fi is always a welcome sight.
Unfortunately, cyber criminals find these networks just as convenient. Ruby Gonzalez, communications manager at Nord VPN, a company that provides users with high-level encryption for their internet traffic, says that it only requires novice hacking skills to access phones and other devices connected to a public network.
“They can scan the network for a list of all IPs connected and then they can install software on the devices and capture confidential information,” Ruby explains. “That’s always been the case with unsecured wireless networks.”
There are ways however, to keep your public Wi-Fi surfing as safe as possible.
Here, five ways to protect yourself.
3. Watch out for honeypot networks
You can’t trust just any public Wi-Fi network that pops up on your phone. The most common way a hacker gains access to your information is through public Wi-Fi Hotspots that they set up themselves called honeypots.
By connecting to one of these networks, you give a hacker direct access to any information sent or received from your device.
These honeypot networks aren’t easy to spot either. Hackers will often set up shop at cafés and use the name of the establishment as the network name with only slight variances that go unnoticed.
5. Keep an eye out for shoulder surfers
Unfortunately, cyber criminals don’t always hide behind their keyboards.
This is why it’s best to be aware of your physical surrounding as well. If you need to use your phone to enter sensitive information, be sure to treat your phone like you would your pin number at the ATM.