Public Wi-Fi hotspots are proven to be very dangerous. And that is one of the reasons they are everywhere in UK! From around the corner coffee shops to supermarkets and airports, these are the networks that most hackers and scammers use to get your personal information and harm you. These are also the reasons behind the malicious viruses on your devices and compromised online anonymity. 

So to avoid getting hacked and spammed, you will need a good VPN (Virtual Private Network) like Surfshark or ExpressVPN to build a barrier between you and such cybersecurity threats while connecting to any public Wi-Fi. 

Let’s see how a VPN works to provide you with such security benefits. If you are a UK resident, check out Surfshark UK review to look closely at the best VPN to avoid any online threats in UK. Let’s get into the details. 

How does a VPN protect your online presence?

A VPN secures your web traffic when connected to public Wi-Fi networks. How? As VPN software encrypts your info, anyone snooping on the internet sees jumbled gibberish. So, you can be sure that your data is protected when you are using open Wi-Fi!

Risks associated with public Wi-Fi networks

You can never tell who is monitoring your online traffic when you use public WiFi connection.  For instance, internet traffic on a public Wi-Fi connection is typically not encoded, making the security systems vulnerable. This makes prying a piece of cake for just about any prowling hackers. Let’s have a look at some of their techniques.

Significant threats of using public Wi-Fi connections

Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks 

Attacks establish a “spy” between you and the content you are viewing. This helps hackers to “listen in” to your unsecured WiFi network and monitor what you’re up to.

Evil twin cyber attacks

Networks that pretend to be real hotspots. For instance, if you go to Starbucks and you see two Wi-Fi hotspots, one labeled “Starbucks” and the second “Starbucks-for-customers,” you could think they’re both genuine. In fact, one of them has been planted by the hacker.

Cookie theft eavesdropping 

An assault that enables hackers to take over your activities entirely. They have access to what you’ve looked for and all the content you’ve shared on your media platforms.

Computer Viruses

A virus that can easily infect your device without having you install anything. It has the potential to jeopardize your confidential info and also spread that data to many other machines.

Wi-Fi Network pineapples

A device that is used to launch network assaults. It operates by masquerading as any other Wi-Fi network recognized by the computer and deceiving you into joining it. Accessing a network controlled by a hacker exposes your privacy and puts your data in danger.

Such and other hacking strategies make it difficult to feel protected when utilizing unsafe public networks.

What user data is at risk while on public Wi-Fi networks?

On public wifi, snoopers can record network activity and potentially steal data you type on your computer. The data comprised can be, for instance, 

  • Bank account and credit card information
  • Password protection for social networking sites
  • Login information of your email
  • Many private details you enter

A VPN, on the other hand, may stop people from spying on you and compromising your data by protecting all traffic on your device. As a result, one of the best effective methods to secure oneself on public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN service.

How to safeguard yourself on public Wi-Fi networks

So, I’m not saying you should quit using free public Wi-Fi entirely. Everyone appreciates a free internet connection. But, how can one stay safe if public Wi-Fi is the sole alternative?

  • Get a VPN app – to secure your data. This implies that anyone who snoops on an unsecured public Wi-Fi network will see only scrambled, useless data. This means, you can be certain that your info is safe whenever you utilize a public network.
  • Deactivate Wi-Fi auto-connect – cybercriminals frequently use phony networks that carry the same moniker as a trustworthy network. If you turn off the auto-connect option on the device, you will not be connected to any bogus networks.
  • Deactivate file sharing – On any device, you will have the feature to block file sharing. By selecting this option and eliminating printer sharing and AirDrop on iOS, you may prevent hackers from stealing your important files and data.
  • Stop using login credentials – if you are not utilizing a VPN, stop signing into your accounts and entering credentials when you are on a public network. This usually includes the credentials to your email account, e-banking service, and any other social media accounts.

Can public Wi-Fi networks block VPN access?

Absolutely, public Wi-Fi connections can prevent you from using a VPN to connect to them. Because the person providing the service gets to select the service condition, they may periodically restrict them.

On the other hand, anyone who purposely prevents you from utilizing a VPN is usually doing it to track your internet activity.

If someone is interfering with your VPN connection, change the port! Under the Settings Option in Surfshark, you may toggle from OpenVPN TCP to UDP.

Wrap Up

It is important to highlight the risks of using public WiFi connection and take safety steps to secure your private data. We advise against using public WiFi networks unless actually needed. However, if you are working from a cafe for a little while, we recommend you use the VPN service.

Surfshark VPN provides military-grade AES 256 GCM encryption for every session. It is also among the easiest ways to be secure while using public Wi-Fi. It’s inexpensive, simple to set up, and requires no specialized skills to operate, making it the ideal option to secure your privacy and get more certainty when utilizing public networks. Protection Status