How not to get hacked vis-à-vis free Wi-Fi networks?

Author - ISA (Comstar) | Apr 03 2020 05:00

public Wi-Fi security risks

Who doesn’t love to use free wi-fi when one is waiting for his/her favorite food at their favorite restaurant, or while waiting for their next flight at an airport, or when they’re getting bored and scrolling through their Facebook at any other public space? All of us use these free internet connections one way or the other as it saves our mobile network internet MBs. Using free wi-fi is not actually free; it comes at the cost of you losing your money or other personal information. Now, the question is, how can we be more prudent about using these free wi-fi networks? This blog aims to explain how free wi-fi performs its role in becoming a hacker’s dream.

Firstly, when asked for a log-in via your email address or phone numbers to use the free wi-fi, never ever provide your primary email address or phone number. Just write 1234567 as a number, or any other creative or artificial email address that does not involve your important personal information.

Considering all the public spaces with free wi-fi networks that hackers love, the most vulnerable are the hotels doesn’t matter how costly their services are. For instance, Bloomberg reported that hackers get access to the hotel’s property management systems (PMS) when the internet cable from a bedroom’s TV is connected to a laptop. Once they have access to the PMS, they take control of the whole corporate system of the chain owner and eventually get access to the credit card transaction information for several years. Then, information is sold in the black market, where a high-value credit card can bring around $20. In the hotel’s case, not even logins are required, you have to provide your room number, and you can easily have access to the so-called free wi-fi.

The Guardian wrote that these hotels become easy targets because they do not have network architecture experts taking care of their network security services. The free wi-fi is also perceived as a facility or a luxury provided by the hotel industries, so the hotel authorities do not want the customers to go through lengthy, cumbersome, yet recommended methods of logging-in.

Thus, the interesting aspect is how to get rid of these hackers and their hidden hacking attacks? Simply, as hotel authorities and as customers, you must use, install and invest in Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to avoid getting hacked.

A VPN locates you anywhere on the internet, which basically is not your original location, and encrypts your online information. So, when you use a VPN, your exact location cannot be estimated, and your information cannot be stolen. Some VPNs are not free and do require yearly charges, but they are worth spending the money.

In a nutshell, do not provide exact information on your original email addresses and phone numbers while logging-in free wi-fi networks in public spaces. Instead use generic, creative personal addresses (which are not original) and use VPNs to encrypt information and to disguise your true location.

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