The dangers of free Wi-Fi hotspots and how to protect yourself

The majority of us love visiting a coffee shop or café, and while we’re there, we make use of the free Wi-Fi. Free hotspots have grown in popularity and are now available in virtually every location where people congregate; restaurants and bars, hotels, malls, subways, airports, and on aircraft, for example.

However, the majority of us are unconcerned with our security while utilizing unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots. All you want to do is access your social media accounts, check your emails, and peruse your favorite sites, among other things.

What you should be aware of is that there are a plethora of hazards waiting to pounce on unwary public Wi-Fi users.

A reporter for USA Today was hacked earlier this year while utilizing American Airlines’ Gogo in-flight internet connection. After alighting from the aircraft, a fellow passenger approached him and inquired about the project he was working on throughout the trip. He later delivered the bombshell…

“While on the plane, I hacked your email and read everything you sent and received. I did it to the majority of passengers on the flight.”

In another instance, an Australian guy had his Bitcoin stolen while using the public Wi-Fi at a restaurant.

These are only two of the many instances in which someone’s information was intercepted or a person’s identity was stolen while utilizing unprotected Wi-Fi.

A hacker has a plethora of tools at his disposal to put you in danger.

Most common public Wi-Fi attacks

Man-in-the-middle attacks

This is a kind of assault in which a malevolent individual inserts himself between two individuals and intercepts their conversation. The hacker may then see what is being sent without the two parties being aware of it. This kind of attack, therefore, enables the malevolent individual to manipulate communication, abuse real-time transactions, transfer data, and steal personal information.

Hotspots deviant

These are fictitious networks established by criminals, and they do not require a great deal of technological know-how. With only a Wi-Fi Pineapple and a YouTube video, anybody can build a malicious network that will entice you to join. Once linked, you make yourself vulnerable to hackers and may easily be hacked or snooped on.

Snooping & information stealing

When you connect to a protected network, all wireless communication between your device and the wireless router is encrypted. Once a hacker has access to an unprotected network, they may simply gather personal information or sensitive data. With the advent of technologies like packet analyzers, information theft and spying have become increasingly simpler.

Brute-force attack

This is a kind of attack in which a person gathers information about you and then attempts to crack your password by logging in with several credentials until they discover one that works. In this scenario, the attacker’s success and the time required to complete the attack will be determined by how secure your passwords are.

DNS cache poisoning

Also known as “DNS spoofing,” this is an attack in which a hacker takes advantage of a domain name system’s weaknesses. When you become a victim of this kind of assault, your internet traffic is diverted away from genuine servers and towards imposters. Your personal information and passwords are therefore at risk of being stolen.

How to avoid unsecured Wi-Fi attacks

Occasionally, we just can not resist the urge to connect to a public Wi-Fi network. What everyone should understand, however, is that your internet security at this point is completely dependent on you.

Even if your financial information is snooped on and you lose all your money, the café, airport, or hotel is not responsible in any way. Additionally, since the service is free, nobody will spend any money on securing it.

This, therefore, necessitates that you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. There are many ways to secure oneself, but the most effective way is to utilize a VPN.

How does a VPN defend against Wi-Fi attacks?

VPN protection is enabled when connected to a public WiFi hotspot.

A VPN is a subscription-based online service that encrypts all of your internet traffic and securely tunnels it via VPN servers. You are then assigned a new IP address, which corresponds to a new identity.

When you enable your VPN, it protects your network. If you’re using a proper VPN, such as NordVPN, neither your ISP nor any other third party, even your VPN administrators, will be able to see what you’re doing online.

This implies that anybody attempting to spy on you while connected to the same Wi-Fi network cannot penetrate since they cannot make sense of your network data in the first place.

However, not all VPNs are created equal, and therefore, your security is contingent upon the VPN you use.

Why is NordVPN the best public Wi-Fi VPN?

To protect your entire network and online presence, a VPN must use an industry-leading security and privacy architecture.

That is precisely what NordVPN does.

NordVPN encrypts all of your data using AES-256-CBC TLS 2048 bits. Additionally, this includes NordLynx, a unique protocol designed to completely anonymize and protect all internet traffic on your device. This is in addition to OpenVPN, the industry-standard protocol.

Additionally, NordVPN provides superior speeds through ultra-fast servers that ensure that your public Wi-Fi connection is not slowed to a crawl. In the event of a VPN disconnect, NordVPN’s Kill-Switch function immediately disconnects your internet connection to prevent you from being exposed.

You are not required to avoid all public Wi-Fi sites. Simply rely on NordVPN to reclaim your online freedom.

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