What to watch out for when using public Wi-Fi
These types of networks are present in places where there are usually many people. For example shopping centers, stations, airports … It does not mean that they are all unsafe, but it is true that hackers they can take advantage of the situation.
On the one hand we can find a Wi-Fi that has been created solely for steal data. It pretends to be from a store or a specific place such as a library, but in reality it has been created by a cybercriminal. But there is also the case where an attacker connects to a legitimate network, but uses it as bait to steal data.
Check the network name
The first thing to keep in mind is to take a good look at the Wi-Fi network name to which we try to connect. This is important, since just by looking at the name we can have an important clue to know if it is a reliable network or not.
Many of the Wi-Fi networks that are insecure tend to have names of the type “Free WiFi”, “Free Internet”, etc. They use them as baits for users to connect and they are actually a hazard. But it should also be noted that the name of that Wi-Fi corresponds to the place where we are. Normally when we are in a bar or restaurant they will have a sign to see the name of the network. They could have created a parallel network with a similar name and it is actually a threat. There are many options for using the Internet outside the home, but we must opt for something safe.
Do you use password and good encryption?
This is important. It is not advisable to access an open Wi-Fi network. Attackers could also break in and use them to steal personal data from all connecting users. It can happen even if that network is legitimate and has been created by a local.
But something similar can happen with the encryption use that Wi-Fi. Not all password ciphers are the same and there are some like WEP that are outdated and can be easily exploited. This means that, even if that network has a password, an attacker can enter. You have to make sure that the encryption is current, such as WPA-2 or WPA-3.
Verify that the equipment is protected
Before connecting to a Wi-Fi network, we must also verify that the device we use is properly protected. It does not matter if we use a mobile phone or a computer, it is essential that you have a good antivirus such as Windows Defender, Avast or any other.
It will also be essential for the protection that the system we use is up to date. We must correct any vulnerability that appears and this is achieved with the patches and new versions that they release.
But especially you have to check that we have a good VPN to surf the Internet. What this type of program does is encrypt the connection, something very useful to connect to public networks and prevent them from spying on us. Everything we send or receive goes through a kind of tunnel.
Be careful what you accept
On many occasions when accessing a public Wi-Fi network we are asked accept a series of terms. Be careful what we accept and what we ship. Sometimes they ask us to send information such as email address or phone number.
This could lead to us being included in spam campaigns and even be a security hazard. Therefore, we must also review what we accept and what we send when connecting to a wireless network.
In short, these are some of the most important questions that we must take into account when we decide to connect to a Wi-Fi network and thus avoid security problems that may affect us.