Is Public Wi-Fi Worth The Risk?

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Is Public Wi-Fi worth the risk?

Around the world today you can rarely find a café, hotel or airport without access to a public Wi-Fi network. More than ever we have internet access whenever and wherever we need it.

Unfortunately, public Wi-Fi does come with a catch – data sent over a public Wi-Fi connection provides an easy way for individuals with malicious intent to capture the data you send and track everything you do. Using specialised software whilst connected to the same networks allows access to the information you send, like someone eavesdropping on a conversation in a public place.

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Surveys have shown that 83% of Australians have taken risks on-line when using Public Wi-Fi and an astounding 30% of Australians have used on-line banking over a Public Wi-Fi connection.

You should also be extra vigilant when connecting to these public hotspots, ensuring they are legitimate for the café or hotel you are in. It is not uncommon for an attacker to have a phishing hotspot setup with a similar or identical name.

Things to consider if you intend to utilise public hotspots

Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) - to connect and secure your data. A VPN allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the internet and can shield your browsing activity and transferred data (usernames and passwords) from any malicious monitoring.

Refrain from visiting any sites which require a login with username and password, especially banking, email accounts and social media. Accessing these types of sites over a public network opens you up to potential issues which may only surface months later.

When setting up your laptop or workstation in a public area, take note to face your laptop screen away from any potential prying eyes, and monitor your surroundings over time to ensure you are the only one watching what you’re doing.

For more information on Public Wifi's and web VPN's, get in touch with one of our highly experienced staff today.