How to Stay Secure on a Wi-Fi Network?

During earlier years, people were able to connect to a Wi-Fi network only with their computers. But the development of technology has made it possible for every internet user to connect to a Wi-Fi network on any device they possess, including laptops, tablets and even smartphones and PDAs. While a public Wi-Fi network, like those in airports, coffee shops, shopping malls, hotels, etc. are considered to be of great use to travelers and others, it is now being a constant discussion that these Wi-Fi hotspots remain usually unencrypted and unprotected, especially with users surfing the internet and accessing their email accounts in plain text. This makes it easy for any other individual to monitor the online traffic of others by using the same radio signals.

Though this may not seem like a bigger issue for those of you who use public Wi-Fi networks simply for surfing the web, it is always better to avoid using such networks for purposes that involve financial transactions, like shopping and banking, and other activities like opening your email account, accessing your corporate server, etc., which might lead to losing your crucial data. One of the biggest threats to user data is considered to be an unsecure public Wi-Fi network. A hacker, snooper or any other cybercriminal will be able to monitor the users’ network traffic with just a simple device that he can hide in his backpack. But the main issue in this scenario is not simply the fact that those connections are so easy or so unsecure to attack. The issue is because there is only little awareness among internet users that such a threat exists, as a result of which they often expose all their most crucial personal data over the Wi-Fi networks, making it even more attractive for hackers to attack.

Following are a few simple steps you can follow in order to keep prying eyes away from monitoring your online activities.

  • Make sure the network name is authenticated: A very common form of Wi-Fi attack is where a hacker sets up a public Wi-Fi hotspot of his or her own at one of your favorite pastime venues. The name of this duplicate network will usually be very much similar to that of the legitimate network name offered by the business running in that place. This attack happens to be more effective than any other type of attack because the corrupt network will work exactly like the original legitimate network, allowing you to browse and use the internet the way you normally would. But what you would not know is that all your login details, financial transactions, instant messages, social media activity, etc. will be automatically routed by way of the hacker’s fraudulent network, making it easy for them to monitor and capture or collect your details. Therefore, whenever you are about to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot, make sure you ask one of the employees the complete name of the network and verify that what you see on your Wi-Fi menu is exactly the same.
  • Look for SSL connections: When it comes to establishing an encrypted connection between your device and the website you are looking to visit, there can be a lot of ways and several procedures to be done to maintain security and privacy. Luckily, one of the most commonly implemented types of encryption requires you to do nothing more than just giving a careful look at the URL bar of your browser window. You would know that the URL of most websites begins with “http”. In order to make sure that SSL encryption is active in a particular site; make sure the URL starts with “https”. Also, you can see a padlock icon on the address bar of your browser, which also indicates that SSL encryption is active. The use of this SSL encryption is that all the information you send and receive through the network will appear to be distorted to hackers, making all your transactions unreadable for them.
  • Rely on a VPN service: If you want all of your online traffic to be encrypted, without regard to the type of websites you visit, then you should probably consider subscribing for a reliable VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. VPN is so far considered to be the best option for obtaining online security, privacy and anonymity because it basically creates a physical barrier between your system and the internet by encrypting all of your communications via a physical server maintained and controlled by the VPN service provider. Only after your communication passes by way of the secure VPN server will it reach the web. Anyone snooping on your online traffic over the same Wi-Fi network will only see distorted data that passes between your device and the VPN server. Since the VPN server acts as a middleman for your interaction with the web, you are ensured complete anonymity throughout your online sessions, regardless of which network you are using.

In addition to providing such secure access to the web, VPNs are also being used for various other purposes, such as for getting around internet censorships enforced by various governments, corporations, schools, etc., bypassing geographic restrictions imposed by international websites, gaining access to home country’s websites, and so on.

Data on a Wi-Fi Network

Best VPNs for Wi-Fi Safety

If you are looking for a best VPN service provider that can offer you comprehensive security and privacy features, consider using the services of one of the VPN providers mentioned below:

Rank Provider Starting Price Money Back Visit Provider
1 ExpressVPN $6.67 /Month 30 Days visit expressvpn
2 Hidemyass $6.55/ Month 30 Days visit expressvpn
3 iPVanish $10.00/Month 7 Days visit ipvanish
4 StrongVPN $21/ 3 Months 7 Days visit strongvpn
5 VyprVPN $14.95/Month 7 Days visit vyprvpn
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