Information theft when using Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi networks are available practically anywhere. We find them in shopping centers, stations, airports … Now, are they all safe? The truth is that no. We may come across wireless access points that are solely created to put our lives at risk. Privacy.
How could they spoof our identity by Wi-Fi? Basically what the attacker is going to do is collect all the data that we send or receive. For example if we log into a social network, in the mail, in a forum … Also even if we use an instant messaging program and send messages.
What the hacker is going to do is create a fake access point, which pretends to be a legitimate Wi-Fi network but actually controls it. In this way the entire connection can go through that attacker. This is known as the Man in the Middle attack.
Let’s say we make a payment on a certain website. This would occur if the process is done on an unencrypted page. Might steal the data of the bank card, to know our personal information and, later, to use it against us.
Therefore, to spoof our identity thanks to Wi-Fi networks, attackers will have to collect the information we send when browsing. This includes any process such as sending messages, emails, logging into pages, making a payment … This means that we must always be careful when using public networks.
Can we prevent data theft when using public networks?
This is an important question. We have talked about how we can find Wi-Fi networks that have been created solely to attack. In this way, cybercriminals could even reach impersonate our identity, create a profile on social networks with our name, make payments as if it were us, etc.
But yes, we can prevent this from happening. Logically, the first thing will be to connect only to wireless networks that we will fully trust. For example, we should never connect to open networks in public places, much less send data through it.
We must also take into account the possibility of using VPN services. What these programs do is encrypt our connection. In this way, everything we send and receive goes through a kind of tunnel and cannot be read by third parties. We could avoid the Man in the Middle attacks that we have indicated. Of course, we must always prevent the VPN from losing the connection.
Ultimately, a seemingly secure Wi-Fi network could become a real problem for users. It could be the entry point for hackers to steal personal data and, when the time comes, impersonate our identity. It is important that we are aware of the importance of preserving privacy and using certain tools such as VPNs for this.