Wireless networks are widely used today by users. We have a Wi-Fi network at our disposal almost anywhere. In this way, we can navigate from our mobile, laptop, or any compatible device. Now, when we talk about a public Wi-Fi network, the risk that this may pose to our security and privacy comes to mind. These types of networks are known for the dangers involved. Is connecting to a public Wi-Fi network safer now than a few years ago? We will explain this in this article.
The Risk of Public Wi-Fi Networks
When we connect to the Internet, we must take into account whether that Wi-Fi network is legit or not. If we talk about the Wi-Fi of our house, which is perfectly protected, with a good key that encrypts the connection, there is no need to worry. However, this does not happen when we connect to public Wi-Fi, which is open to anyone or even has a password to access.
Any intruder can access these types of networks. This means that our information, data, and in general, our connection may not be secure. They could access the content we send and receive under the circumstances. This means that browsing these types of networks can seriously affect our privacy and security.
These types of dangerous networks are usually in very crowded places—for example, an airport, shopping center, or any place where many users can connect. Ultimately, hackers set their sights on where they can be most successful.
However, over time, networks have improved their security. Today there are tools and software designed to protect our systems that are more prepared than before. The same is true for encryption and the general security of Wi-Fi networks when we browse the Internet. But of course, is it safe today to connect to public networks?
Public Networks Remain Insecure
Although security has improved and we now have more possibilities to protect our computers, the truth is that a public Wi-Fi network continues to be a problem in maintaining privacy and security.
Today the vast majority of web pages are indeed HTTPS, and that means that the content, at least on paper, is encrypted. At first, this could mean that even if we surf a public Wi-Fi network and there are intruders, they will not be able to access the content.
However, we have to say that even when browsing HTTPS pages, we may suffer some type of attack. There are methods through which a cybercriminal with the necessary knowledge could break the security barrier of those HTTPS sites and make the traffic not encrypted. They could also access data such as the domain we visited.
The encryption DNS is not as widespread today. This makes a web page remain insecure if we navigate in certain circumstances. We could access a web page that, in theory, is safe but find that it is a Phishing attack. This can happen through redirects on public Wi-Fi networks
How to Connect Securely on Public Wi-Fi
Our advice for connecting securely on Wi-Fi networks is to use VPN services. In this way, our connection will be encrypted correctly. Our data we can say that they travel in a kind of tunnel that cannot be accessed by intruders. A way to protect our data and not compromise personal information at any time.
It is also advisable to remember the importance of avoiding browsing sensitive pages. For example, we refer to those pages where we have to enter passwords, credentials, and, ultimately, give personal data. This should be avoided when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network.
Of course, we must also make sure that the network we connect to is not a trap. It is important to note the name, encryption, etc. Sometimes a hacker can create a Wi-Fi network for the sole purpose of connecting victims and then steal as much information as possible. It is something that can be very present in places very frequented by tourists, such as an airport or train station. Sites where there are usually many people who do not have mobile data and are looking for a way to connect.
In short, although security measures have improved, the truth is that today it is still a danger to connect to public Wi-Fi networks. Our advice is always to take precautions and not to enter personal data that can be stolen by cybercriminals. There are tools that we can use to improve privacy.
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