Public Wi-Fi is hard to resist when it’s free and convenient, especially when you’re traveling and need to access accounts. However, public Wi-Fi is often unsecured, leaving your confidential information at risk. This article explains how using public Wi-Fi puts your mobile data at risk and what precautions you can take to improve your mobile security.
One of the most commons threats, often referred to as a KRACK attack, is when hackers position themselves between users and the connection point to gather data passing between. Hackers then have the ability to steal any piece of sensitive information a user sends out or accesses: passwords, emails, phone numbers, credit card information, business data, messages, photos, etc.
Although this data is presumed to be encrypted, researchers have confirmed that this weakness in the WPA2 protocol allows hackers to intercept this data and in some cases, inject ransomware or other malicious content into websites.
Here are our recommendations for preventing your data from being hacked when tempted to use public Wi-Fi:
It’s advised that when browsing the internet, you should enable the “Always Use HTTPS” option in order to keep your information secure. Unfortunately, researchers warned that your data is vulnerable even when using websites or apps in HTTPS because it can still be bypassed.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A VPN allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public WiFi, and more. Many employers will equip their employees with a way to connect to a VPN network on the go. Although VPNs are a safer alternative to public WiFi networks, researchers have found that even VPN apps can be bypassed.
It’s highly recommended that you disable file sharing on your device when connecting to a public, unsecured network.
Use a MiFi
Though the previous precautions are great, none of them guarantee the safety of your information. If you need to access mobile data but don’t trust the security of hotel, café, or airport public Wi-Fi, a MiFi is one of the best solutions. A MiFi is a secure, portable broadband router that enables multiple devices to share a single mobile broadband connection. You can also use it while on the train, in a car, or other transportation vehicles.
Star Communications, Inc. not only provides clients with the devices (like MiFi’s) and international roaming plans needed for travel, but also provides support. We often receive requests from users who are traveling but cannot access email. In this situation, the first thing we usually ask the user is if they’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network. We always suggest that the user disconnects from that network, especially when using a corporate device, which in turn resolves their email issue but also keeps their private data safe.
Contact us to inquire about other ways Star Communications, Inc. can help increase your mobile security while abroad or in general.