Press
2021-7-14

The expert advises: Public Wi-Fi networks are a security risk. This step will protect your data

Public Wi-Fi networks are a common source of Internet connection for many users. In addition to offering us instant Internet access around the world, these freely available networks are also a security risk. Experts from Aliter Technologies warn against insecure networks through which users can lose valuable data and point out what to watch out for when using such connections.

Especially abroad on vacation, users tend to save their data and access the Internet using unsecured networks. “Often the possibilities are limited and in these situations we are reaching for unsecured free Wi-Fi networks with internet access. As has been said many times – nothing is free. By connecting to such a network, you run the risk. Public Wi-Fi networks are a place where you can inadvertently lose very valuable data,” explains Daniel Suchý, a cybersecurity expert at Aliter Technologies, adding: “You are in danger that someone being connected to the same network or pretending to provide the Wi-Fi connection, may steal your data, credentials, or see your communications. In the worst case, you may lose your privacy or identity. Even your contacts can be a target for attackers who knows how to misuse not only themselves but also important documents and sensitive information associated with them that they can spread.”

The expert points out that personal information with login details for various accounts is the most useful for hackers. This can happen not only with unsecured networks, but also with more easily password-protected access, which have restaurants, hotels, etc. “First and foremost, if you need to sign in to a public Wi-Fi network, never share sensitive data or sign in to accounts where you have valuable information. These are, for example, e-mail accounts, social networks or, for example, internet banking. For these tasks, you should always use mobile data with your own IP address,” advises Suchý, adding: “If you already need to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, always activate a VPN connection, which will ensure secure data transmission over an encrypted connection. This intermediate step will complicate a possible hacker attack.”

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a virtual private network that creates an encrypted communication tunnel between your device and a VPN service provider’s server. Subsequent communication to the Internet takes place from the provider’s servers. This minimizes the risk of compromising the confidentiality of your communications. The expert advises that there are both free and paid VPN services. For the VPN service to work, it is needed to install the application on the user’s computer, tablet or smartphone and create a user account on the VPN service provider’s website. This will take less than 10 minutes and, on the other hand, will provide sufficient protection when connected to a public or less secure Wi-Fi network. In addition, the use of a VPN conceals the IP address, making it difficult to monitor user activity.

Experts advise to use the following applications:

ExpressVPN

+ Support 5 devices simultaneously

+ Month of free trial

+ One of the fastest VPNs

– Limited number of devices supported at the same time

NordVPN

+ Support 6 devices simultaneously

+ Possibility to try for 30 days for free

+ Emphasis on safety

– Not the best mobile application

Private Internet Access (PIA)

+ Support 10 devices simultaneously

+ Large selection of servers

+ Very good application for mobile devices

– Lower speed across some servers

ProtonVPN

+ Support 5 devices simultaneously

+ Does not block streaming services

+ Possibility to try for 30 days for free

– Higher price