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  • Writer's pictureMaría Belén Gómez

The Dangers of Public WiFi Connection

Updated: Jan 18

The extensive use of public WiFi networks has offered unparalleled ease to millions of individuals globally. Nevertheless, amidst this apparent boundless convenience, there exist multiple unnoticed dangers and cybersecurity threats.Vulnerabilities of Public WiFi Connections.

Common Vulnerabilities of Public WiFi Connections

1. Cyber Security Risks Public WiFi connections are fertile ground for cybercriminals.

The "sniffing" technique allows them to intercept data transmitted between devices and access points, obtaining sensitive information such as passwords, bank details and emails. Man-in-the-middle attacks are another concern, where hackers interpose themselves in the communication between the user and the intended destination, allowing them to steal data or even redirect to malicious websites.

2. Malware Threats The risk of malware infection is high on public WiFi networks.

Hackers can use these networks as a means to distribute malware to unprotected devices. Once infected, the device becomes a gateway for cybercriminals, who can steal personal data, damage the device or use it to launch broader attacks.

Solutions and More Secure Alternatives

Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

VPNs offer an additional level of security by encrypting the data transmitted between the user's device and the server to which it connects. This helps protect the user's information from sniffers and man-in-the-middle attacks. Using a VPN while on a public WiFi network can be a crucial measure to preserve privacy and data security.

Use of Mobile Data or Personal Hotspots.

Instead of relying on public WiFi networks, using mobile data or setting up a personal hotspot with your cellular connection may be more secure alternatives. While not invulnerable, they generally offer a higher level of security compared to public WiFi networks.

Ultimately, the convenience of public WiFi networks should not be sacrificed for data security and privacy. It is essential that users are aware of the associated risks and adopt proactive measures to protect themselves. This includes avoiding the exchange of sensitive data while connected to public WiFi networks, preferring the use of VPNs to add layers of security, and considering the use of mobile data or personal hotspots as a safer option in environments where data confidentiality is crucial.

So as to conclude, although public WiFi connections can offer convenience, the inherent risks are significant. Personal cybersecurity should be a priority, and taking precautions such as using VPNs and avoiding the exchange of sensitive information on public WiFi networks are fundamental steps to protect privacy and personal data.

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