Security Measures for Using Free Public Wi-Fi

Public networks at airports, coffee shops, and hotels can expose you to cyber threats or viruses. ExtremeVPN keeps you safe even on unprotected public Wi-Fi networks. Learn how!

Security Measures for Using Free Public WiFi

How to Use a VPN for Accessing Public Wi-Fi Networks Securely?

Despite the popular misconception, public Wi-Fi networks can be exceedingly dangerous. How typical is it to connect to the Wi-Fi in your favorite coffee shop, the hotel you just checked in to, or the airport where you wait for your next flight? Learn the potential risks of using public connections and how ExtremeVPN can help you shield yourself from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Top 6 Most Prominent Safety Risks of Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

Using unsecured networks poses different dangers to cybersecurity; connecting to a public Wi-Fi can make you a target for the following cyberattacks and criminal activities.

MITM Attacks

A Man-In-The-Middle attack is a virtual assault where a hacker sneaks into private commuting between two parties and alters the communication exchange result.

Although there might be several MITM attacks, the most popular is IP spoofing. In this attack, a hacker uses a fake web to trick the user into thinking they’re interacting with an authentic website in hopes of obtaining valuable information from the user, such as passwords or bank account details.

MITM Attacks

Users Impersonation

With the MITM technique, hackers can steal users’ personal information and supplant their identity. What they do is impersonate the subject of the attack expecting to gain profit from it. For instance, if they manage to collect financial information such as credit card details or bank account logins, they may empty the credit card or bank account balance by withdrawing or purchasing in the victim’s name.

Users Impersonation

Rogue Access Point

Also known as a Rogue Wi-Fi Network, it’s a wireless access point set on a secure network without the specific permission of the network’s administrator. Users who unknowingly connect to the net are subjects of identity theft and malicious infection of their devices.

Rogue Access Point

Data Leaks

Data Leak: When a user connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, all their information is vulnerable to data leaks from the network’s Wi-Fi router. It is possible for hackers to collect valuable data about users, such as financial data or personal content (photos, videos, etc.) from them for blackmailing.

Data Leaks

Sniffer Programs

It’s a typical thing for Wi-Fi administrators to use sniffer programs or packet sniffing to scrutinize all the traffic passing through the network. However, hackers take advantage of this by recording the sniffing program information for scamming purposes.

Sniffer Programs

Malicious Software

Malicious infection is a remarkably prevalent tactic that hackers use to steal valuable information from unprotected users. Through the Wi-Fi network, they spread infectious programs that hide in videos or pop-up ads. Clicking on any of these may immediately infect your device and compromise your data.

Malware Program

How Secure is Using a VPN When Connected to a Public Network?

Let’s imagine that when attempting to establish a connection to the Wi-Fi of the hotel you’re staying in, you instead unintentionally join a malicious Wi-Fi net. Hackers can access and modify without further security every unencrypted communication, and malicious programs can even sneak their way into your devices.

Nevertheless, with ExtremeVPN, you enjoy maximum protection against data reading, injection, and modification, thanks to tunneling encryption. On the other hand, it’s worth mentioning that virtual attackers can also utilize the MITM technique to bypass encryption and impersonate the websites you visit. In this case, this would allow them to intercept your communications without your awareness.

How to Prevent Cyberattacks via Wi-Fi?

Picture this! A hacker is using a packet sniffing application to attempt to hack your smartphone through your Wi-Fi connection. If the Wi-Fi network is unprotected, the hacker could access your communications in seconds, leaving you vulnerable to different cyberattacks.

Nonetheless, unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be more secure using a VPN. By establishing an encrypted tunnel between your device and a shielded VPN server, ExtremeVPN stops this form of Wi-Fi hacking.

Prevent Cyberattacks via Wi-Fi

Protect all Your Devices from Public Wi-Fi Connections

Worried about device compatibility? ExtremeVPN has you covered! All the major operating systems work with ExtremeVPN, including Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux (coming soon).

Best of all, routers are no exception. If you’re looking for a VPN to install directly on your router, ExtremeVPN has your back. You can simultaneously protect all your devices at home or in the office.

Public Wifi

Top 9 Essential Recommendations for a Secure Public Connection

1. Protect Your Connections with a VPN

Top-notch Virtual Private Networks like ExtremeVPN are the most secure way of accessing unprotected Wi-Fi networks. When you connect to ExtremeVPN, your traffic undergoes an encryption process that shields your internet activities and protects your data from third parties.

Protect Your connections with a Vpn

2. Do not Keep Logged in to Your Accounts

Staying connected to your accounts would facilitate hackers’ goals of stealing your information. They could decipher your login details and change them without authorization; the best thing for you to do to avoid this is to log out once you finish using them.

Do not Keep Logged in to Your Accounts

3. Don’t Receive Air-Dropped Files from a Stranger

Devices like the iPhone integrate a feature called AirDrop that facilitates sharing files from one device to another.

Even though it’s a great feature for cybersecurity, it can be dangerous if it accepts files from unknown sources. Be mindful that hackers use these features to spread malicious content, so don’t accept files from someone you don’t know.

Don’t Receive Air-Dropped Files from a Stranger

4. Secure Your Bank Accounts

The most exposed information to cyberattacks are bank accounts and login details to websites containing financial information. Beware of accessing these services while using a public network; doing so can make you subject to virtual robbery. The best thing is to postpone this till you can connect to a Wi-Fi network of your trust.

Secure Your Bank Accounts

5. Look for and Select the Most Safe Connection

It is hard to trust the Wi-Fi outside, so finding a secure connection outside is a challenge. Nevertheless, you should ensure, at least, that the Wi-Fi connection is encrypted (look for the padlock symbol) and that it requests a password to connect to it.

Select the Most Safe Connection

6. Set Your Wi-Fi Configuration to Forget Public Networks

You’ll never know the time and date when a hacker will attack a Wi-Fi network. If you connected to a public network once, be sure to set your device to forget the Wi-Fi network so it doesn’t connect automatically next time. Doing this will lower your risk of connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi.

Configuration to Forget Public Networks

7. Try Alternative Ways of Connecting to the Internet

It’s not common today to access the internet using a cable connection. However, Ethernet connections are remarkably efficient at avoiding cyberattacks. You can consider Ethernet connections in scenarios like in your hotel room when staying for multiple days in a city.

Alternative Ways of Connecting to the Internet

8. Update Your Device’s Operating Systems Constantly

Another thing hackers take advantage of is the outdated Operating Systems of the devices. When a device’s OS is not up to date, it is more vulnerable to being pirated by third parties.

Update Your Device

9. Visit Only Safe Websites

The Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security protocol prevents disreputable attackers from accessing your data on HTTPS sites. These websites encrypt all communication and traffic. If the URL has a padlock next to it, that means the website uses HTTPS. If a website doesn’t employ HTTPS, leave it right once, especially when using a public network.

Web Freedom

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if the public network I’m using is safe? Up
In reality, it’s exceptionally challenging for a user at a café or hotel to decipher whether or not, is a Wi-Fi network safe. The best advice is that the user never assumes a public Wi-Fi network is secure. Yet, the need for a password does signify a slightly greater degree of security.
How can I make the public network I’m using more secure? Up
Turning on a VPN app is the simplest option for users of public Wi-Fi to ensure a secure connection. VPNs secure the internet connection and guard the user against online threats. On the other hand, for company owners who run public Wi-Fi networks, constantly updating their Wi-Fi’s name (SSID) and password from the defaults is a good practice. Also, keep their router updated with the newest software to ensure they have the most recent security fixes.
Is the public network I’m using tracking me? Up
Wi-Fi administrators can see your activity if your connection isn’t secured. They generally won’t be able to read your communications, but they might see which websites you visit and for how long. In contrast, administrators will only view packets of encrypted data being transmitted to the server from a device if your connection is encrypted – such as when a VPN is enabled – but not what the packets include.
What does Wi-Fi stand for? Up
Wi-Fi, a pun on “Hi-Fi,” is a local area wireless technology that enables radio frequency networking between devices. The radio frequencies the Wi-Fi technology uses are the 2.4 GHz UHF band and the 5 GHz SHF band.
How do wireless connections work? Up
A Wi-Fi network broadcasts a Wi-Fi router, allowing multiple devices to connect to a wireless local area network (WLAN) simultaneously. The router subsequently connects each of those devices to the internet. Most Wi-Fi networks are password-protected. The strength and distance of a Wi-Fi signal depend on the environment and router itself. But a single home router is generally enough to cover an entire household.
What is the definition of a hotspot in a wireless connection? Up
A wireless local area network (WLAN) enables several devices to join at once by broadcasting a Wi-Fi network. Following that, the router links each of those devices to the internet. Most Wi-Fi networks require a password to access them. Depending on the location and the router, a Wi-Fi signal’s range and power might vary, although a single home router can often reach the entire household.
How do Wireless connections’ hotspots work? Up
In a physical space known as a Wi-Fi hotspot, you may use a Wi-Fi-enabled device to access the internet over a public wireless network. Retail establishments and transit centers like cafés, hotels, and airports frequently have Wi-Fi hotspots. Several institutions and enterprises deploy Wi-Fi routers to benefit clients and the general public.
How secure is using the Wi-Fi network of my hotel? Up
Like other public Wi-Fi networks, hotel Wi-Fi has security vulnerabilities, such as the potential for hackers to exploit unprotected, open networks. Using a VPN while connected to your hotel’s Wi-Fi will encrypt your internet connection and protect all your data from prying eyes.