It seems as a great thought to be able to use Internet on the go that too free of cost, with the help of Wi-Fi hot-spots in hotels, airports, coffee shop, or public library. What could be better than killing your time by checking emails, browsing the web or having a status update on a social media site without spending a penny. But, do you think you are safe this way? You might be using your own laptop or smartphone, yet you could be at a great risk while surfing in a public network. Therefore, it is better to be aware of the pitfalls of such a usage of Internet before you decide to go for one the next time.
How Secure is a Public or Shared Network?
It is not at all a good idea to access Internet through open Wi-Fi networks. You never know who might be eying your personal information and eavesdropping upon your online communication within the network. Such a network is as insecure as giving out your sensitive credentials to a stranger.
Moreover, the Internet connection you are using could even be a trap intentionally set out by a hacker just to lure you. As the request made by you and the web pages, you get to access in return, are not encrypted in such a network, anybody can sneak into your session and see all the information you enter or share through the same. This information of yours can be misused in any possible way you could think of. Your email account could get hacked, your private conversations might not remain private from then on, and even your online banking account might not be secure anymore.
How to Evade the Risks of Using Internet in Public Wireless Network?
Firstly, there would not be anything better then completely avoiding it. However, some networks could be secure. If a Wi-Fi network asks for password before allowing you to enter, it is bound to be secure. Therefore, it is always better to check the security of a Wi-Fi connection before using it. But, if you, somehow, are in a dire need to access the Internet and must use the available wireless connection try not to enter your sensitive details or do online financial transactions. Better if you could use an updated antivirus and Internet security software equipped with bidirectional firewall. Ideally, never engage into piggybacking for your and other’s security.