It’s summer and it means going on vacation! But preferably somewhere nearby that has wifi, because it’s pretty convenient, isn’t it? Thanks to public wifi, these days there is (free) internet access everywhere. Wifi on the train, wifi on the camping site and, in some cases, even wifi on the aircraft… Wifi has become a fixture of our daily lives, but while we constantly browse our laptops, cell phones and tablets, we rarely stop thinking about the risks we take with the data we send. Wifi hackers can access your personal data easily, for example, and hijack your accounts.
A hackers’ bag of tricks
Nevertheless, public wifi does not provide very robust protection from hacking even after taking into account this security leak in WPA2. Although hacking a residence’s wifi will only provide certain people’s data, a public wifi network means that many people are at risk. And there are a wide range of techniques hackers can use to obtain access to personal information from someone.
The’ evil twin’: a hacker establishes his own wifi network, but gives it the same name as the network of the site to which you intend to connect. The hacker will record all the information you send or collect via the internet with this simple trick. That’s why it’s important to always know if you’re linked to a good, legal network.
A hacker watches the information as it is sent over the network to a website and can change it.
A hacker uses special code to intercept all data packages that are registered with a network interface card. Companies usually use this technology to analyze data and provide help where appropriate. For their own gain, hackers use this software.
How to protect your online privacy and security
Fortunately, you should be able to protect yourself in most cases by taking a number of precautions. Aside from carefully managing your passwords and checking whether you are using the correct wifi-network, it is important to be certain whether your data is being transmitted through a secure connection. You can easily determine this by checking whether the padlock-symbol is displayed next to the web address of the website you are visiting. You can also check by seeing whether the web adress starts with https://, instead of http://. HTTP stands for hyper-text transfer protocol, the protocol that the internet uses to transfer data. HTTPS is an improved version that encrypts data as a rule and is currently standard, but is still not always used on all websites. Checking whether HTTPS is being used is enormously important if you are browsing a website and are about to send sensitive information. Examples of this would be eBanking, logging onto websites of government agencies and using other important accounts (it is also recommended never to carry out this type of activity using a public wifi-network). Additional steps you can take are configuring a two-step authentication for as many accounts as possible, as well as setting up a VPN. Two-step authentication is an easy, but effective method: many accounts allow for configuration that ensures you not only need a password, but a unique code sent to your cellphone as well. A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that transmits your data through an encrypted connection. Thanks to this extra protective layer, it will be more difficult for a hacker to get to your data. An additional advantage to using VPN is that it also masks your IP-address, making it impossible to detect your location.
It will probably never be possible to prevent someone from hacking your devices a 100% of the time, but as long as you are informed of the risks and remain aware of them, you can significantly reduce the odds of it happening. At the very least, it is something to keep in mind before you log onto an important website using your hotel’s wifi. Does all of this seem very paranoid? Then this article in the media will really scare you:
Speaking of the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN, and our recommendation is RitaVPN. RitaVPN is an excellent tool for protecting your online privacy and security. And with the using of RitaVPN, you can also access your favorite geo-blocked content. It allows P2P connections on all servers and offers specialized servers for Netflix and other favorite streaming channels. RitaVPN is a relatively new VPN service, but it’s already making a name for itself，which makes it one of the best VPN in 2019.