People often mistakenly believe that public Wi-Fi is safe because it is password-protected. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The password can usually be obtained simply by asking. Even worse, criminals can set up their own public networks using inexpensive devices and keep them free and open for only one reason – to steal your data from everyone who has connected to such free Wi-Fi.
The best way to protect your data when you are using a public network is a free VPN. A VPN encrypts all your data with a reliable modern encryption algorithm and makes it almost impossible to crack. In other words, it creates a secure virtual tunnel that connects your device to the rest of the internet.
The risks of public Wi-Fi usage have increased as our lifestyle has changed. More and more people are working remotely and using public networks not only for everyday communication but also for work and study. This means that attackers can gain access not only to individuals’ personal data but also to employers or educational institutions. Data being transferred on public Wi-Fi networks without using a VPN is not as secure as it would be on your private network.
To understand the risks better, try to imagine that you control the device through which data passes. It means that you can find a specific device on the network by IP address and then observe the user’s activity, read the messages, and get any data exchanged via this network.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid public spots. You need to know how to protect yourself and take advantage of open networks while maintaining your safety.
How to Use Public Wi-Fi Safely
Two measures should be taken to use public Wi-Fi safely.
- Use a VPN for full public Wi-Fi security. As we have already mentioned VPN is the best way to fully secure any internet connection. Consider VPN download on each device that can be connected to the Wi-Fi. Using a VPN is the easiest way to protect your data not only on public networks but also increases your security whet you are using the internet at home. The best part is that it is free. Additionally, you can get an advantage from VPN usage bypassing content geo-restrictions and saving on airplane ticket purchases and car rentals.
- Forget the network after you stop using it. Your device setting might allow automatic reconnection to the public network every time you are moving around if you were connected to this Wi-Fi at least once. You may easily forget about it and not realize that you are at risk. To avoid this, disallow automatic reconnection or set your device to forget previously used networks.
To summarize, do not be afraid of public networks. Just remember that better to be safe than sorry. So do not neglect the two simple measures we described today and stay safe.