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Secure Your Privacy when Connecting to Public Wi-Fi

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

A Hackers Paradise – Public Wi-Fi is a Security Risk

Over the last few years, the Wi-Fi networks have totally revolutionized the way we connect to the internet. These networks are cost effective and are easy to deploy which explains their popularity with organizations and commercial establishments. These networks can also be expanded easily so it is not uncommon to see even small shops providing free Wi-Fi connectivity nowadays. Since most devices like laptops, mobiles and tablets support Wi-Fi connectivity, the public Wi-Fi networks allow us to remain mobile and connected at all times.

Even though the public Wi-Fi networks offer unmatched convenience and contribute to our productivity, there are some serious security issues associated with their use. For instance, there is a free Firefox plugin known as Firesheep that allows anyone using the same Wi-Fi network to hijack sessions of other users and log into their accounts. This makes it possible for hackers and snoopers to steal data over Wi-Fi networks and even allows them to force other people’s devices to participate in large scale attacks such as distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS). This makes public Wi-Fi hotspots quite dangerous since a lot of people are not aware of the security threats associated with them so they can easily become victims of identity theft or lose their money.

While it is possible to secure a Wi-Fi connection, it involves securing each and every aspect of the network. You need to secure details like confidentiality, integrity of data, encryption, authentication and access control for total security of a Wi-Fi network. While this method is easy to implement for smaller networks such as a home based Wi-Fi network, it is not practical for free Wi-Fi networks available at airports, shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, hotels, libraries and book shops. Since public Wi-Fi networks are meant to be used by a large number of people, strict security protocols cannot be used or enforced. This makes public Wi-Fi hotspots quite vulnerable and they can easily be exploited by hackers for their malicious gains.

Protect Yourself and Your Online Security

Since it is difficult to expect security at public Wi-Fi networks, we need to look at alternative methods of protecting our data. A virtual private network is a secure network of computers that extends its security over public networks like the internet. It is possible to use a VPN to secure your online sessions even on unsecure Wi-Fi networks. A VPN covers your online sessions like a secure tunnel which cannot be breached even by the most sophisticated hacking tools. This means your personal details like social security number, passwords and banking account details remain safe and protected at all times even if you connect to the most vulnerable public Wi-Fi network.

When it comes to securing your data at public Wi-Fi networks, you should always choose the services of the best VPN provider. There are several excellent VPN providers like VyprVPN, HideMyAss, IPVanish, StrongVPN and proXPN that provide excellent security at all times. Moreover these providers have VPN servers in several countries which allows you to access local content and bypass firewalls imposed by ISPs and network administrators. So if you use public Wi-Fi networks to remain connected, you should subscribe to a VPN service and secure your personal data right away.

March 30, 2013

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