What Makes Public WiFi Unsafe (And How To Protect Yourself)?

Introduction

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably been through the same situation: You’re at a coffee shop or library, trying to grab a quick hit of some web surfing. You log into your favorite sites and suddenly, something is wrong — the website isn’t loading properly, or you can’t connect with friends on social media. What happened? That’s right! The public WiFi in the building has been compromised!

Why is public WiFi insecure?

The main reason that public WiFi is insecure is because it’s a broadcast medium. A broadcast medium sends information from one device to all devices within range of that device. In most cases, this means that anyone can listen in on your data or take control of your device if they’re nearby enough (especially if you’re using an older model).

WiFi also operates on an open network — one where anyone can connect and access the Internet without having any kind of authentication required first. If someone else has already connected their laptop or smartphone via Wi-Fi before you do, they’ll be able to intercept any traffic that passes between them and yours — including passwords!

Finally: There are other ways attackers could exploit this vulnerability besides just eavesdropping or packet sniffing; namely session hijacking attacks which allow hackers access into private networks without detection by users (the term “man-in-the-middle” refers specifically here).

What is a man-in-the-middle attack?

A man-in-the-middle attack is a form of eavesdropping and can be used to steal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. The attacker uses their own computer as a middleman between you and your intended recipient, so that they can see all the traffic between those two devices.

When you’re connected to public WiFi, you’re at risk for being targeted by a potential hacker. It’s not that difficult to do because there are thousands of devices around us, and it can also be done remotely with malicious software.

WiFi Eavesdropping

WiFi eavesdropping is a type of attack that involves intercepting the data sent between your computer and the Internet. It’s also known as “sniffing,” because it involves sniffing out what you’re doing on the network by looking at network traffic. There are many different ways to do this, but one method involves using software or hardware devices called “sniffers” that can be used to capture packets from the wireless network.

The attacker will then analyze these packets and try to find information about which websites have been visited, who has been communicating over the web and whether or not they are who they say they are (which is referred to as authentication).

Packet Sniffing

Packet sniffing is a technique used to intercept and examine network traffic. This can be done by using a network tap or other means of monitoring the packets that pass through a network. If you have access to someone’s WiFi, you could easily retrieve any sensitive information they’re sending or receiving over it. The best way to avoid this issue? Don’t ever connect from work!

WPA2 Enterprise-grade WiFi encrypts all your data, so packet sniffing isn’t possible!

Cookies theft and session hijacking

Cookies theft and session hijacking are two common ways for hackers to get access to your information.

Cookies are small bits of text that websites use to store information about you. When you visit a website, the site saves these cookies on your computer or phone so that it can recognize you when you return. This makes it easier for sites and apps like Facebook or Google Maps to remember who you are when they see the same browser open again later in the day or week.

Session hijacking occurs when an attacker takes over control over another user’s browser session by tricking them into visiting a malicious site (e.g., phishing).

How to protect yourself from MitM attacks?

You can protect yourself from MitM attacks by using a VPN. A VPN is a private network that encrypts all of your traffic and sends it through an encrypted tunnel to the server of your choice, which is usually located in another country. This makes it difficult for hackers to intercept your data and make copies of it before sending them back to you. There are many different types of VPN services available, but we recommend using one of our favorites: ExpressVPN (for Windows users), NordVPN (for Mac users) and CyberGhost Pro VPN (for Android users).

If you don’t want to install software on your computer or mobile device, there are also browser extensions that help protect your privacy online as well as apps for both iOS devices such as iPhones/iPads/iPhones plus iPads/iPads plus iPads Mini 2nd generation; Android smartphones & tablets running version 4+

Conclusion

When it comes to public Wi-Fi, there’s a lot that people don’t know about it. Not only does it pose security risks, but it can also affect businesses and organizations worldwide. In this article, we will talk about some of the most common problems associated with public Wi-Fi networks, including how they’re vulnerable to hackers who wish to do harm or steal sensitive data from unsuspecting users who connect via these hot spots.

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Shadab Idrishi | Growth | Tech | Startup

Exploring personal growth, tech trends, startup wisdom, and personal finance. Let's learn and grow together. Follow me for enlightening insights.