Quickly checking your email in a cafe, on the train, or at the airport. And not using your mobile data of course, because there’s free public wifi available. Everyone does this. And most people also know that it would be better if they didn’t use these free services. Hackers are lying in wait everywhere. Find out how a VPN protects you from public wifi hackers.
Hacking public wifi is easy as pie
Why not use public wifi? The big problem is that those networks leak like a sieve. No verification is necessary when connecting to a public wifi network. This makes it easy as pie for hackers to place themselves in between you and the internet. This way they can lay back and read along with you while you enter your passwords or bank details. This has disastrous consequences, of course: suddenly, you see strange transactions when you log in on your bank’s website. Or, perhaps, someone has logged into your Facebook account and spammed all your friends with ads that were seemingly posted by you. Or maybe, the hacker is especially crafty and sends you to a fake website in order to install malware on your phone or computer. This malware may continuously send information to the original hacker, or some other third party, without your permission. It may even harm your computer or smartphone.
Fake public wifi networks
The fact that public wifi networks ‘leak like a sieve’ isn’t your only problem. Smart hackers sometimes install their own wifi network near already existing popular wifi networks. They then name their network something very similar to the name of the cafe that you’re just about to enter. The hacker has successfully set his trap. Once you connect to the hacker’s network, everything you do will be copied and pasted to the hacker’s computer, including usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information.
Public wifi hackers vs. VPN
Is there anything you can do about this? The best thing you can do is to steer clear of public wifi networks. This will save you a lot of trouble. But another good safeguard against public wifi hackers is a VPN. A VPN will build a kind of digital tunnel around your internet signal and mask your IP address. Hackers aren’t able to crack the encryption that plays a role in this – not even when you’re connected to a public wifi network. Now, going online while you’re connected to a public wifi network isn’t such a dangerous pastime anymore!