Free Wi-Fi may seem like a boon in today’s plugged-in culture.
Most of us are probably elated to see that “Free Wi-Fi” sign in the window of our favorite coffee shop that gives us some peace of mind, knowing that we won’t have to use our precious data to surf the web while we wait for a latte.
Or, maybe you’re at a conference at which you only have a few options for Wi-Fi.
It's often considered a perk, but it should instead be considered a warning.
After all, without proper security measures, free public Wi-Fi could prove dangerous to your sensitive data.
An unsecured, public wireless network is a connection that doesn’t require any security encryption.
You can usually find these types of connections at coffee shops, hotels, libraries, restaurants, or anywhere where there is “complementary” Wi-Fi.
While this can be incredibly convenient, the lack of network security may put you at risk since bad actors can also freely access the same network.
For instance, sending and receiving information from your computer to the internet on an unsecured network can enable a hacker to start a “man-in-the-middle” attack, a type of hack that focuses on copying your sensitive information as it’s being transmitted to the Web.
If you are given the choice between gaining access to an unsecured network and a secured network, it will always be safer to access the secured one.
However, if you access an unsecured network, here are a few things you will want to be cognizant of to protect your data:
Besides connecting to a secured network, there are several tips you can follow to make your browsing journey a little safer.
These are just a few of the many ways you can protect yourself from the dangers of an unsecured network.