Free public Wi-Fi is now one of the most prevalent cybersecurity threats. The risks are becoming so common that even the FBI recommends avoiding free internet hotspots. Along with that, it advises using a virtual private network (VPN) as a precautionary measure.
In its recent official video, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informs about the risks of public internet networks. The main reason is that no user “can’t control the security standards of a public Wi-Fi network.” But even the Bureau has to admit that sometimes it’s more than essential to access the web, especially when traveling or working remotely.
One can make a safe Wi-Fi connection by using a trustworthy VPN service. As the Bureau’s representative adds, “VPN creates a secure tunnel for your data to transit the Internet, using a network of private servers.” This way, your data is encrypted or hidden. Thus, it is harder for an attacker to misuse your data.
“One of the biggest online threats is free public Wi-Fi. Hackers often position themselves as free Wi-Fi hotspots. And by doing so, they can steal personal information, credit card details, or other data”, says Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN. He also emphasizes the risks of public Wi-Fi, noting that it is better to use your mobile data instead.
Yet sometimes there is no other choice but to use public Wi-Fi. For this reason, Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN, provides useful safety tips:
- Double-check the network name with the staff when connecting to a Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or a hotel.
- Avoid visiting sensitive websites and logging into your social accounts. More importantly, never perform banking transactions on public Wi-Fi.
- If you must log into your private accounts, make sure you have set up two-factor authentication. Use a digital signature to perform any important transactions.
- Enable your firewall. Combined with other security tools, it keeps outsiders from going through your computer’s data.
- Use a VPN (virtual private network). A reliable VPN, like NordVPN, will make sure your online connections are private, and no sensitive data can get into the hands of criminals.
- Remember to turn off the Wi-Fi function on your device when not using it. It will spare you from the unwanted connections with Wi-Fi networks surrounding you.
Daniel Markuson recommends being extra cautious about connecting to any Wi-Fi hotspot in a public place. To save your private information and to protect yourself from possible identity theft, stay away from unsafe networks, or use a VPN, like NordVPN.
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