We Investigate How Safe You Really Are On Free Public Wi-Fi
By Sophia Chambers | Smart Web User
Public WiFi is a fantastic thing, the freedom you feel of using your laptop in a coffee shop is a new age delight, But just how safe is connecting to these free open networks? What are the dangers which are waiting to compremise your personal details? And How can you stay safe and protected?
According to a Nielsen/Harris poll in March 2014, over 66% of U.S adults say they have used public WiFi with over a quarter of those admitting to checking a bank account whilst on an open, unprotected internet connection. It can seem completely harmless as the dangers aren’t visible whatsoever, but they are certainly real…
A public WiFi connection is rarely protected properly, meaning hackers can intercept requests being made on the network. An example of a request is hitting “Log In” on a social media site, this sends your username / email and password over the network, to the servers of the website you are using which checks if they are correct.
If you are using public WiFi, you should hope you have input your details incorrectly, as they could well have just been sent straight to a criminal’s computer! The majority of people use the same password for almost every account or service, so once one domino falls, the rest are likely to follow. Their next target is normally your email account because it can be used as a “master key” for every other account / service, sending requests to reset a password to whatever they choose.
The ramifications caused by simply signing in to a social network may seem bad, but the effects are far worse when you use your banking details on a free public wifi network: in the same way that social media logins are sent to a hackers computer (oversimplification), credit / debit card details and banking logins are susceptible. As you can imagine, credit card details can be exploited far more than social media logins. They can be used to empty your bank account or even sold on the dark web, both of which being awful options for the victim!
If You Use Public Wi-Fi on Your Phone or Tablet You Are at Risk!
This may sound very scary, but there are ways you can protect yourself. Your first option is to not use any public WiFi network, but that is a rather drastic measure and isn’t necessarily a solution to our problem – consumers want to use it and stay safe while doing so. Your best option is using a AntiVirus, our favorite is Scanguard, a security suite made for smartphones, laptops and desktops. The software is primarily an antivirus, but it has a array of speed up, optimizing and security tools built right in that can be activated with one tap.
To stay Malware and Virus free when using public WiFi we highly recommend using ScanGuard, which will sit silently on your computer and alert you to any threats it detects.
Even if you have a new computer or don’t use public wifi, we would recommend you try ScanGuard to analyze your PC. Simply run a 30 second scan and see for yourself. You’ll be surprised just how many people have malware on their computers collecting there personal information leaving you at risk of fraud or identity theft.
Click here to download ScanGuard. They are offering a free version of the Antivirus software which for a limited amount of time includes free Speed Boost.