Is public WiFi still unsafe to use? This is something that security experts warn about but is all of the information associated with it still up to date. Here is where things stand with the topic.
Safe Or Unsafe?
This is a complicated question to answer. Public WiFi browsing is safer and more private than it used to be, mainly due to the widespread adoption of HTTPS. With HTTPS, other users on the network can’t spy on what you are doing. In addition, Man-in-the-middle attacks aren’t as easy to execute as they once were. The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently said that public WiFi was safe to use, and not something to worry about. With that said, the possibility of someone setting up a malicious hotspot is still a thing.
Here is the bottom line on public WiFi. The average person won’t snoop on your activities while using public WiFi. Malicious hotspots are still a threat and will still cause damage if connected to. We recommend using a VPN when using a public WiFi or opt for using a cellular hotspot instead.
So What Are The Risks Of Public WiFi?
There are several risks still associated with public WiFi. Firstly, a malicious hotspot will redirect you to malicious sites. Most of the time, these threats will redirect you to a phishing site to steal your login credentials. Secondly, if your computer is not up to date, other computers on the network could exploit unpatched security holes. Once someone gains access to your computer, they can steal your data and additional information.
The best way to protect yourself on public WiFi is with a VPN. A VPN allows you to create a secure tunnel to a specific server. All of your web traffic is then funneled through that encrypted path. The public WiFi network will only see your connection to the server, but not what websites your visiting. Most companies require a VPN before connecting to their systems when their workers are remote.
Alternatively, skip the public WiFi altogether. If you have a data plan with a stable connection, use a cellular hotspot. Most cellphones have the hotspot capability that will allow your laptop to connect to the Internet.
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