Public WiFi is Notoriously Risky!
If you intend to bring your internet devices with you when you travel, you must consider the inherent dangers of Public WiFi.
Pubic WiFi is Not a Private Secure Internet Connection
Therefore anyone can access the network and anyone can eavesdrop on what’s being transmitted via Public WiFi. People tend to let their guard down while traveling. Security is put on the back burner and we tend to do things that increase our chances of getting hacked.
According to a survey conducted by Morning Consult for IBM Security, 70% of travelers take unnecessary risks while on the road. They connect to public WiFi, charge a device on a public USB station, or enable auto-connect on their wireless devices.
Hackers Set Up Fake Public WiFi Hot Spots
A skilled Hacker will typically give their fake WiFi Network a name that’s similar to an authentic connection. If it’s a hotel, they will choose a name with the hotel’s name in it or if it’s the airport, they will choose a network name that includes the airport’s name or the name of the airlines. The same goes for coffee shops or other internet hubs.
If you are inadvertently fooled by a hacker’s fake WiFi Network, you’re now giving that network permission to start taking data off your device. Furthermore, if your device is set to auto-connect, you might be leaking your personal data and not even know it.
You can’t eliminate all digital threats when you’re on vacation, but you can significantly reduce your chances of having a problem by following these tips.
TIPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE
- Any device you use, outside your own home network, including your smartphone, laptop or tablet should have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) installed. A VPN encrypts the data leaving your device.
- Before turning the VPN on, be sure to shut off WiFi and close all apps. After connecting to Wi-Fi, via your VPN, it’s safe to open up any app.
- Never have your devices set to auto-connect. If your device automatically connects to a free WiFi Hotspot, your device is vulnerable to hacking.
- Keep the WiFi on your smartphone turned off until you need it. Cellphone data is encrypted when it travels via your phone’s mobile network.
- Never bring your business laptop with you when on vacation. Bring a spare one that has no corporate data on it. If you need to access corporate data or your company email, do it through the cloud.
Remember, we’re more vulnerable to digital security intrusions when we travel. Don’t opt for convenience over security.
Here is the link to the IBM Survey
Read a previous article of mine about how to keep your online data safe