April 12, 2024
So says the Old adage – “The best things in life are free” –  and that should apply to “Wi-Fi too. But did it ever occur to you that using free Wi-Fi exposes you to a range of threats, internet insecurities and your whole chunk of data saved online? So, we decided to cull a post Dangers of using free hotspots from an infographic by ExpressVpn.

Free Hotspots and its dangers

You may be an authority in your niche or any social media platform, but it does not restrict you to being open to hacks and online breaches when it comes to connecting to open free and unsecured networks. Before we continue:

We recently made a blog post on the new release of Facebook’s new Wi-fi discovery feature. It may be considered a major upgrade to our world of internet connectivity, but it still does not cover the threats it exposes any individual that uses such a connection. 

Facebook itself might be nurturing the motive of connecting a whole lot of “internet-access challenged Countries”, but yet the issue of internet security is been waved aside without caution.

Internet security and online guides, therefore, become a major concern in times like this when Hackers and Crackers are all over the place looking for loads of data to break down. Consider a phenomenon whereby all your secret and personal data is been exposed for the whole world to behold.

In a 2018 survey, cybercrime ranked as the most feared crime in the United States with sites such as CreditCards putting up guides full of helpful security tips and real world scenerios, data breach warning signs, and methods to help ease the fear of cybercrime circulating the web.

Bring in the issue of Mobile smartphones being the most widely used among individuals, there is still a very long way to go. Express VPN published the three best Browser extensions to stay anonymous, a major fight against internet threats.

Several articles have been published also to help individuals against online attacks like the 101 tips to protecting your privacy from Hackers by ZDNet. So today, we will be considering the extreme exposure that Open or free Wi-fi can cause to any individual that makes use of it.

  1. You Risk Exposing Information To Hackers

This is a major headache encountered by individuals from attacks. The information here can range from Online Banking details. I received a text/email from a so-called number with a very strong call to action that goes like this:

Hello Sir, this is to notify you that your bank account have been deactivated by the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) due to your failure to comply with the Bank verification Number (BVN) system. You are therefore charged to en-devour to call the above number for clarification and retrieval of your account. You can also forward your account details to the following Email *Email here*. Act before it is late!

 In a situation whereby a newbie is charged with the above information. 85% or more is likely to fall the Phisher. It is, therefore, necessary to withhold from any form of message like this and to call your Bank directly.

Social media is another platform that is likely to prove vulnerable to Information attacks. Making use of an unsecured Wi-fi and also using your social media account on a phone other than yours to enter your passwords and Usernames – never a good act

Other information exposure acts might come in form of Emails where you’re expected to follow the link below to a given page. It is always advisable to copy the link to your clipboard before hitting the enter button.

2. Man – In – The – Middle- Attacks

This is a phenomenon whereby a Hacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other. In recent times, this has become a common feature among Hackers. A clear example is the use of Facebook for this purpose.

The Hacker here send a link to the targeted which looks like a real and secure page, usually something like this – www.facebook,com/xyz2345&^$fro(7y457)5437gtrafficgetResponse. The targeted being unaware of the threat clicks on the link which takes him/her to another legitimate page also but Phished page also bearing the popular Facebook Logo with a box to enter his/her details.

After your information has been collected, the page either starts misbehaving or sends you a Wait For 30minutes to effects Changes caption – your details all gone!. It is therefore advisable to stay away from any unfamiliar link or consult professionals for direction.

3. Rogue WiFi Networks

Here, a hacker sets up a fake network that presents itself as a legitimate network to steal information from unsuspecting users who connect to it. Have you ever seen strange WiFi names like – Kac6^^V2 or $sen(MoveOver? sure they are likely to be them. 

What this group of Hackers do is to setup real-looking but Fake WiFi signals and if you’re not careful, you fall to their traps.

All they have to do is to set up a Malicious WiFi network using some coding skills and Boom! your data and personal information are on their Palms. Abstain from any WiFi network that is not the connection from your PC to your Phone.

4. Packet Sniffer

Sniffer program is one used by Hackers which involves targeting your packets of transmitted data over an unsecured WiFi. Imagine yourself connecting to that free WiFi you just discovered; sure you’re not going to let it go and waste just like that.

Any data shared through any unsecured connection be it Wifi or Mobile network is prone to attack and sniffing by a Hacker. Data ranging from your Passwords, school information, online transactions to Banking details are all prone to Sniffing. Get yourself your own mobile connection today!

5. Social Hacking

We all fall to it. Cafe Visitors, this is for you. Also called Social Engineering. This one now does not have much to do with you connecting to free Wi-fi network, but your ignorance and over curiosity to handle circumstances. 

Firstly, if you don’t have a USB drive – to get one and save yourself from this form of attack. There is also a post by Kaspersky giving detailed reasons on why you should not fear to connect to public hotspot; a totally different mindset on its own.

Now, this one is been carried out by the Hacker leaving a malicious USB or pen drive on a cafe table for an unsuspecting, curious customer to insert it into his/her device. From there on, the Hacker then captures sensitive information through malware – and they have your data with them.

Having seen the different ways by which public and free WiFi can harm one and the dangers associated with it, it is better still to handle your own personal network and in the process avoid the threats this form of connection can bring to you. 

Leave a comment if you or a friend have in any way experienced any of the threats listed above.

4 thoughts on “Public Hotspots: The Different ways they Harm you

  1. Hey, Mr Prosper
    So many problems have been encoutered by different individuals using/connecting to public wifi's, so we taught "sharing is caring" We really appreciate your commendation and also promise to continue to make more of this. Thanks and have a nice weekend.

  2. Hey Trillionclues

    When i came across this post, i was asking myself how can public hotspot harm me, but after going through the content of this blog, i found out that it is quite true with what i have just read.

    Thanks so much for the information, atleast i will keep safe from being hacked from now.

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