Currently, in any bar or restaurant, even in public spaces, we find a WiFi network to connect to. One may think that connecting to this network is safe and there is no problem accessing them. As well, connect to a Wi-Fi network That this open is a very bad idea from the security point of view.
There are many reasons why it is not advisable to access a public WiFi and even more so if it is unprotected. One of the main reasons is the lack of maintenance of these networks, making it easy for them not to be properly updated against vulnerabilities. In addition, it may be that this WiFi network is fake, exposing our social network passwords or worse, our bank.
Connecting to public WiFi is a high-risk activity
There are many reasons why I do not use a WiFi network of a public establishment. One of the main reasons is that the used router is installed by the owner of the restaurant, bar or other establishment and that’s it. This is a common bad practice, since periodically there are security updates that fix vulnerabilities that third parties can exploit. Some allow passwords and other user data to be intercepted.
One of the vulnerabilities largest of the public WiFi networks is cloning. There is a mechanism called “Man in the Middle” or “man in the middle” that allows stealing personal information. It’s as simple as create a WiFi network of the same name that of the restaurant or extremely similar, with the same password. Anyone can create this replica and whoever connects will see their data exposed.
As Chema Alonso explains in the video, creating a WiFi network is very simple. All smartphones allow you to create one with the name you want and without the need for passwords. Consequently, we can never be sure that the network belongs to the establishment in which we are or to the public space. Could someone make a fake WiFi and steal all the data Without us realizing.
It is so easy, as Chema explains, to steal username and password from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and other services, even bank credentials. So we can see ourselves in a very serious real problem if this happens. So when you are going to connect to a WiFi network, you should think about it, since it could expose your data with this simple Man in the middle method.
Can I protect myself from these types of attacks?
you can always protect yourself against this type of malicious action. The first solution is to have a package of mobile data to be unlimited. Currently all companies offer them and have very competitive prices. Through this mechanism, unless we do not have coverage, we can access the Internet without problems and without worrying about the amount of data that we upload or download.
A alternative to this they are the VPNs. For those who are not what it is, basically it is the generation of a encrypted virtual tunnel between your smartphone and a company’s servers. Although there are free VPNs, such as those offered by Proton, they are usually paid. The free ones can be saturated and offer very low speeds. These services are usually affordable, between 5-10 euros per month and are very safe. What’s more, you shouldn’t just use it on your mobile to connect to a public network, you should always use it, even at home.