How safe is it to use the public WiFi?

Using a public WiFi these days is easy and it is no doubt a good medium for faster communication from anywhere. Internet has undeniably been a game-changer in our lives and has made our lives much more convenient. These hotspots which are usually free to access are so widespread and common that people frequently connect to them without thinking twice. But this also makes us vulnerable to the perils of the Internet revolution by directly exposing us to the threat of cyber-attacks and other cybersecurity flaws.

A large majority of adults and children assume that using a public WiFi system is harmless and throw caution to the wind. A lot many of us generally access our private confidential information such as personal bank accounts, email ID’s and other content while connected to a public WiFi.

The sharp rise in cybercrimes such as hacking, snooping and malware distribution has made us more vulnerable to cyber attacks and have become a threat to our privacy. Having said that, it helps to remember that using a public WiFi network with certain precautionary measures can be a boon rather than a threat. 

Listed below are some precautionary measures we should follow while logged into a public WiFi network.

Avoid sharing and importing files

Sharing or importing of files should be avoided as it uses and also scans through the documents putting all the personal and other information for the public domain. To avoid other people from snooping into your internet activity pay heed to using the HTTPS as it is secure unlike the unsecured HTTP. The data that is publicly used by you and others, travels between you and the server of the website you’re connected to which makes it relatively easy for them to watch what you are logged into.

Avoid accessing your password

Try not to log on to sites or webpages that require you to access your password as it makes you an easy prey for cyber-attacks. Doing any online banking transactions is also a big no. Also avoid downloading videos, images, information over free WiFi. The idea behind using the free internet services is to make our lives easier but at the same time not to put our privacy and data security at risk.

Everything that makes life easy also comes with its own set of challenges that we need to be wary of. Being cautious while using public WiFi networks can make life safer for us and also for those who are directly impacted by our actions.

The author is Vidushi Daga, CEO of WhizJuniors and Clone Futura.

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