The days when mobile phones were supposed to make/receive calls and send/receive text messages are over. Your mobile phone now also works like a camera, checkbook, business email, Google Drive / iCloud, VoIP device and more. We create and store a lot of sensitive information on our phones, including private photos and financial identification information. Losing these images or information can be a nightmare for everyone.
Best of all, our phones are connected to the Internet all the time. With several flaws and vulnerabilities, the Internet is not a secure place. These vulnerabilities result in data breaches that result in the theft of money or identity theft. This occurs mainly when you use an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
It’s easy for hackers to tap into a Wi-Fi hotspot and read your messages. They can also create mirror networks of your most trusted Wi-Fi network to make you give up all your valuable information and data.
When you connect to Wi-Fi, all your information sent over the Internet is in clear text, which is easy to read for anyone with theoretical knowledge. It’s like sending a letter to your girlfriend without covering her with an envelope.
Hackers have found ways to duplicate your most trusted Wi-Fi network and create a sneaky network to trap you with a technique called “Evil Twin.” The Wi-Fi network created by hackers is similar to your trusted network with the same name.
The main targets are usually open Wi-Fi networks in cafes, airports, libraries, and hotels. It is essential that you do not become a victim of Evil Twin. Do not worry! In this article, we’ll highlight the key metrics you can use to avoid being targeted to public Wi-Fi.
How to Protect Yourself
Do you need to stop using public Wi-Fi networks as a whole? Or is there a way out of this dilemma? Some will say that you should stop using public Wi-Fi, but it’s not practical.
Here’s what you need to do to ensure a secure and reliable Wi-Fi connection.
1: HTTPS Certified Websites
HTTP is a much older protocol that becomes obsolete over time. Google does not recognize sites that use HTTP URLs because they do not have the encryption associated with an HTTPS URL with an SSL certificate.
Most secure and reliable websites today use the HTTPS protocol, although it is still possible to connect to them using their HTTP version.
Before going to a website, the first thing to do is to check the URL of the site. If the “padlock” sign of the web address bar is green; it means that the website is secure. It is an irritating habit where you will need to check the padlock every time you open a site.
On a smartphone, this can be tedious, because checking the URL can be tricky when you have to open the site, then check the URL. However, this habit will prevent you from becoming a victim of cybercrime.
Another way to use your Wi-Fi securely is to use virtual private networks (VPNs). VPN applications are easily available online and on the Google Play Store and are also recommended by security experts.
VPN services are available on all operating systems. Their configuration is simple and fast.
It uses a set of encryption protocols that create a secure communication tunnel that no one can enter or access. It also hides the real IP address of the user with one of his own. This method would allow the user to mislead hackers waiting for users on the public Wi-Fi network.
With secure VPN, you can use public Wi-Fi without any security issues, but be sure to buy a premium VPN, because a free VPN itself allows the VPN provider to spy on your online business.
3: Fake WiFi Hotspots
Hijackers are always hiding on the web to find the weakest link of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Free or open Wi-Fi networks can be easily configured as a trap.
People generally consider themselves lucky when they find free Wi-Fi, but this can become a trap. These hotspots use the real name of the place, for example, “Starbucks01”, but they are not real.
If you walk around a shopping mall and see two Wi-Fi access points with the same name, it’s best to ignore them, knowing that what’s real is difficult unless the store owner tells what Wi-Fi to use.
4: Disable Automatic Wi-Fi Connection
If your device is set to connect to any available Wi-Fi network, all of the above steps will be useless. You must manually choose Wi-Fi to avoid automatically connecting to a fake Wi-Fi access point.
This feature is a blessing, but keeping your Wi-Fi network disabled will save you in the future. It only takes a few seconds to turn it back on.
5: The Last and Most Important Tip
There is one thing you should always do. Be careful when sharing your information on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
You never know when and where a hacker could find the smallest flaw and compromise your privacy.