Public Wifi Risks

Public Wifi Risks 

With working from home becoming the new normal it might be tempting to dash to your local café to get a change of scenery whilst out of the office. Whilst this is a great way to mix up your office set up it can be a dangerous move if you choose to access public WIFI! Here’s why:

Hackers can create a fake free WIFI hotspots that appear legitimate:  

Fake WIFI hotspots are a common way for hackers to try and steal data. A phony WIFI hotspot might be named something like Free Café WIFI and seem legitimate, but it could be a connection a scammer has created. If you connect to this network, your information could be intercepted and used by them.

You could experience a man-in-the-middle attack:

A man-in-the-middle attack occurs when the communication between two systems is intercepted by a third party. The man-in-the-middle can use a public Wi-fi connection to interject themselves into the communication process. They can ‘eavesdrop’ on your conversation, actively change the content of your messages, or impersonate the person/system you think you’re talking to.

Someone could distribute malware onto your device:

If there are any weaknesses in the operating system of your computer, a hacker could exploit it. They do this by writing a code to target this vulnerability and then slip malware onto your device without you even knowing.

Unencrypted Networks:

Encryption means that the information between your computer and the WIFI router is scrambled into a specific code that only authorised parties can understand. If you’re browsing on a network that is unencrypted, your network traffic is clearly visible to anyone in range. This means people can see any of the unencrypted web pages you are visiting, forms you are filling out on even what encrypted websites you are visiting.

How to minimize the risk of cybercrime:

  • Where possible do not use public WIFI networks.
  • If you need to connect to a public WIFI network, ensure you check with the café or manager which WIFI network is legitimate.
  • Avoid any networks which don’t require a password to access WIFI.
  •  Install a VPN – A VPN is a Virtual Private Network and allows you to establish a protected connection when using public networks. The VPN will disguise your identity and encrypt your internet traffic.
  • Tether your computer to your phone’s hotspot when working with sensitive data.
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About Sureline

Sureline Communications Ltd is an innovative, full-service IT solutions specialist, providing bespoke and reliable products and support. Sureline takes a flexible, customer centric approach to the deployment of technology solutions. We provide trusted technical advice and exceptional levels of personal service to guarantee that projects of any size meet objectives. AGILIS Mobile is the extension of this innovative product portfolio which offers tailored business mobile solutions.

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