The Risks of Using Public WIFI

Cybersecurity | March 12, 2020

We can all pretend we have always known better, but it’s likely at some point we caved and used a public WIFI network. Whether it be at a cafe or a hotel, the risks of using public WIFI are something that you need to be aware of.  

There is so much sensitive information that gets passed around online between just checking our email accounts to banking and online purchases. So, we need to be hyperaware of what we do online and how secure our network is.  

If you still aren’t convinced, we’ve created a list of the risks of using public WIFI below. Let’s get started.  

WIFI Networks Going Rogue  

WIFI networks are not always what they seem to be. Hackers will set up a fake “Free WIFI” network to trick you into connecting and stealing your valuable data. Some hackers will even use the name of the building or hotel you are staying at to increase the legitimacy of the network. 

The Man in the Middle  

The risks of using public WIFI are especially great when it comes to man-in-the-middle attacks. If you are an employee connecting to public WIFI, your company’s data can easily get stolen by a third party. 

Ad Hocs  

Attacks through ad hocs…right. Have no idea what an ad hoc is? That’s okay! An ad hoc is a peer-to-peer network that connects two computers instantly. A common scenario for this is a remote worker using a public WIFI network. When they are connecting to that public network, their device will be set up to discover new networks, and that is what makes it possible for a hacker to directly connect to their computer.   

Lurking Malware  

When discussing the risks of using public WIFI, the passing on of malware should not be overlooked. That’s right, if you are operating on a public WIFI network, hackers can easily send infected software straight to your devices.   

Online Snooping  

Always watching! Did you know that hackers can use special software kits to monitor everything you are doing on a public WIFI network? Even things like your login credentials can be stolen if you are signing into them on a public network. 

Risks of Using Public WIFI  

Now that we have gone over some of the major risks of using public WIFI, please think twice the next time you are thinking about logging on at your local coffee shop. A few things to keep in mind if you have no other option is to stick to https sites and avoid logging into sensitive profiles or entering any personal/banking information. 

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