Safely use airport Wi-Fi when traveling

During the holiday season, as you bounce from airport to hotel, you’re likely to be faced with the following question: Can we truly trust these public Wi-Fi networks? Even a few years ago, the virtually inevitable response was “NO.” While the security of the majority of these networks has significantly improved in recent years, this is not always the case.

Today, the majority of airports provide free Wi-Fi, which means that there are almost unlimited ways to spend time. With the assistance of Wi-Fi, you can convert an airport lounge into an office, a movie theater, or an online store.

But why isn’t airport Wi-Fi always secure?

Naturally, Wi-Fi connectivity is handy and time-saving. However, the majority of public Wi-Fi networks are incapable of protecting their users from a variety of simple but deadly hacking techniques often employed by cyber thieves.

Frequently, airport Wi-Fi is not password-secured. Anyone near the airport lounge may log in and use basic analytics tools to monitor your unencrypted internet activities. This may involve the following:

  • Read your passwords as you enter them.
  • Examine your inbound and outbound emails.
  • Keep track of your payment and credit card information.
  • Intercept your financial transactions.
  • Keep track of the websites you visit.
  • Surveillance of your additional personal data.

If sensitive information is involved, avoid the actions listed above when using airport Wi-Fi. It’s just not worth the risk of a data breach.

Is airport Wi-Fi a risk?

Many individuals find themselves regularly traveling through airports, whether for business or vacation. Along the journey, they may need to use airport-provided Wi-Fi. However, is the airport Wi-Fi secure?

As previously shown, airport Wi-Fi is another kind of public Wi-Fi that is not very secure. Due to the high volume of individuals using Wi-Fi at airports, a highly open network is created. As a result, we do not suggest signing into an account or inputting critical information over airport Wi-Fi without first connecting to a VPN.

Let us divide the issue down into several degrees of security:

  • It is not advised to travel on the airport’s Wi-Fi without using any kind of security, save for the most infrequent light navigation in which no personal data is entered.
  • Using airport Wi-Fi at sites that display a green HTTPS padlock improves security somewhat, but is still not advised on public Wi-Fi networks. Your data is still susceptible to interception.
  • Using airport Wi-Fi with a VPN is secure and nearly always advised, particularly when inputting sensitive information.

Airport Wi-Fi poses security concerns

A detractor may claim that this is excessive and that there is really nothing to fear. After all, of all the sites where hackers might attempt to steal critical information, why would they choose airports, one of the most security-conscious locations on the planet, where cameras and laptops are ubiquitous?

This is an excellent point. This is an illogical location for a hacker or identity thief. They’re more likely to target hotels than airports.

However, one might argue that a crowded airport is an ideal location to blend in despite the security, just due to the sheer volume of people.

Additionally, experienced hackers will constantly attempt to conceal their activities and will be very difficult to identify among the thousands of individuals that use airport gadgets.

The reality remains that accessing any kind of public Wi-Fi, even one with an HTTPS padlock, exposes you to the danger of having your information taken by someone with malicious intent.

A summary of the major factors that jeopardize airport Wi-Fi security

  • The number of people using airport Wi-Fi (hundreds or thousands).
  • The reality is that each of these individuals is an unknown stranger.
  • Numerous airport Wi-Fi networks have lax security—the majority of public Wi-Fi networks are configured for comfort and simplicity of use rather than security.
  • As with hotels, many individuals at airports, who are often in “vacation mode” and letting their guard down, are less security aware and uptight than they would be in daily life.

That is why it is usually preferable to be certain rather than sorry. Numerous individuals may get away with this just by using HTTPS. However, if you are the only one who gets discovered, you will have to deal with the hassles associated with hacking: canceling cards, having new ones created, proving fraudulent transactions, changing all of your login credentials, and so on.

How can airport Wi-Fi be secured?

Fortunately, there is a simple and fast method for securing public Wi-Fi use regardless of location or device. To secure yourself when using airport Wi-Fi, you must encrypt your internet activity. To do this, you just need to utilize a reliable VPN service such as NordVPN, which we recommend.

NordVPN automatically encrypts all your web traffic, masks your IP address, and protects you from hackers monitoring your online fingerprints. A VPN encrypts all of your traffic, which means that no one, not even airport network managers, can know where you are or what you are doing.

NordVPN works regardless of the network to which you are connected. Thus, even if you were confronted by a hacker attempting to take your personal information, the hacker would return empty-handed.

Utilize a VPN to gain access to your preferred media

Additionally, the VPN provides you with an IP address in the country of your choosing. This is particularly advantageous if you travel frequently and want to access your entertainment platforms from an airport lounge. Access to entertainment services such as HBO, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and others is usually blocked in certain regions. This implies that if you use Wi-Fi in a remote airport, regardless of your country of origin, you may discover that these services are totally unavailable.

However, by using an IP address from a place of your choosing, you may circumvent these streaming limitations and watch your favorite programs as if you were in your living room.

What is NordVPN and how can I use it?

The NordVPN setup is a breeze.

Simply buy a membership via the NordVPN website, download their connection app, and you’re ready to go.

Have fun traveling!

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