While making the traveling to-do list, some people prefer to skip “Buy international travel SIM card” part, hoping for free public Wi-Fi connection in the destination country. Free Wi-Fi sounds great, but let us decide, is it really worth the hassle?
In the modern world, cybersecurity is a global challenge, it is not only an IT problem.
Using public Wi-Fi can seriously put your data at risk. The problem of public Wi-Fi is the open nature of the network, and connecting to public Wi-Fi can very often be incredibly dangerous for your shared information. Even the Wi-Fi in your favorite pub or coffee shop seldom uses strong encryption technology, as having a secure connection is rather expensive. So, anyone can see what you are up to over that particular network. They can monitor what sites you are visiting and even what you are typing into those websites. In case you are accessing encrypted websites, they know exactly which ones you are visiting, although if the site is secure, they can’t know what you are doing there.
One of the widely used types of open Wi-Fi threats is MiM, i. e. Man in the Middle attacks. The technique is known as eavesdropping, when the hackers intercept and relay messages between two parties, and control the whole communication.
In other words, instead of dealing with the hotspot, you are sending your data to the intruder. The hacker has control over every piece of information you share—emails, financial information, business data, contact numbers, login information.
Another common practice is setting up fake Wi-Fi connections. This works especially in open-air areas, like parks and stadiums. You connect to Wi-Fi listed as free and deliver your sensitive data on a silver platter.
Surely, there are institutions with more secure Wi-Fi, like banks or government offices, but you will never know, whether the hotspot is infected or not, or the Wi-Fi saying XXX Bank Wi-Fi is the one set up by the bank or not.
However, there are endless situations, especially while traveling, when you need internet connection badly, and you don’t think twice before connecting to open Wi-Fi. For these cases, we have made a list of precautions you’d better take.
1. Have tested and working antivirus program. Make sure it is updated and running.
2. Ask the business owner, whose Wi-Fi you are going to use if the name is correct, so as to avoid connecting to a fake hotspot.
3. Don’t visit unknown websites or websites with low security.
4. Use A VPN for browsing
5. Do not perform financial operations if possible
6. The best way is purchasing a travel SIM card, like HelloSIM. Use own internet bundle for browsing and relax.