10 Terrifying Realities Of Using Public Wi-Fi
The internet, believe it or not, can be an incredibly dangerous place when you have personal, financial, or private information shared almost anywhere. When using wireless public internet connections, otherwise known as Wi-Fi, in places such as a restaurant, coffee shop, or a bookstore, you risk losing all of that information and more. Most people don’t even consider the consequences of using an internet connection that absolutely anyone may connect to. There are some nefarious individuals out there, so learn the realities of using public Wi-Fi now before it is too late.
The majority of the internet is incredibly loose, meaning the security you think you have is nothing more than a myth. Recent NSA scandals have proven to everyone that an encrypted message, in the right hands, can be read by almost anyone.
By downloading a completely free mobile app from the smartphone’s store, the risk of a hacker accessing the same Wi-Fi network and logging into your personal account is a very real possibility.
A lot of websites use SSL (https) to make everyone believe it is a secure website where your information is completely safe – and this includes banking information – but the reality is that it is not a guarantee by any means.
“Man in the Middle”
You, the client, while accessing a server, are quite vulnerable. By performing a “man in the middle” attack, a hacker can impersonate you and intercept all communication between their victim and the server.
While using a public Wi-Fi network, anyone who is accessing it at the same time as you has the ability to visibly see your password, unless the connection you are utilizing is SSL at the time.
Even while using an SSL connection, the login page may be completely secure, but the rest of the website in question probably isn’t. That means a hacker may steal the cookies from your session and drain your bank account anyway.
Most companies, businesses, or restaurants won’t bother setting up a network and named it “free public Wi-Fi” as it is more than a little trivial. Unfortunately, rogue access points are a very real threat on the internet. These are set up by people with nefarious purposes in mind.
Depending on how secure and conscious you may be, connecting to a fake network may leave you wide open for a hacker to access all of the files on your computer or cloud network.
If someone gains access to your computer while you are using a public network, your files and passwords are not the only thing they have gained entry to. People can even listen to the Skype conversations you are having at that moment. That is quite creepy.
In total, around 1 terabyte of data is stolen every single day via a public Wi-Fi network. That amount of data amounts to the same as 1 billion people having their login passwords and information stolen by a hacker.