Think Again: Security Risk at Public WiFi - GoTechTalk


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Think Again: Security Risk at Public WiFi

Ah!! What could be better than sitting in your favorite coffee shop sipping an overpriced latte Chino thing and browsing whatever the drama of the day is on Twitter.

Security Risk at Public WiFiI'll tell you, doing it securely although public Wi-Fi networks are useful for staying connected on the go they're also notorious for being easy for attackers to spy on and see lot more than just the dank, so why are these networks so insecure what are some of the common ways they get attacked and what can you do to keep prying eyes away from your browsing habits.

Even though public Wi-Fi hotspots have been around since the early 2000s and people have generally become more aware of online security risks since then there are still a number of common vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit for instance many public Wi-Fi networks use no password or encryption of any sort in which case attackers can see all the traffic on the  network and you actually don't even need any special hacking skills to do it, there are plenty of programs floating around that enable spying on unsecured networks with just a few mouse clicks now you might assume that public Wi-Fi that uses wpa2 PSK the standard dataflow encryption in most modern routers is safe and that would be true in a home setting as you're only sharing a password with people you trust, but in a public place like a cafe anyone with the password who connects before you do can spy on your handshake the communication that occurs between your device and the access point when you first connect to the hotspot in this way an attacker can steal your encryption key and see all of your traffic even though your connection is encrypted public Wi-Fi is also susceptible to something called a man-in-the-middle attack which is just what it sounds like a bad person sitting in between your device and the internet looking at all of your stuff as it flies by many times this kind of attacker will set up a fake Wi-Fi hotspot that looks like a legit one if you connect to it your internet traffic will go right through the attacker’s computer possibly allowing them to see whatever you're doing, okay I get it public Wi-Fi is about as secure as a screen door made of cheese but is there any way that I can use it without broadcasting everything I'm doing, fortunately, yes there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself.

1. Use HTTPS you know that thing that encrypts your connection and puts a little lock icon in the corner of your browser many websites that require logins such as Gmail and Facebook use
HTTPS by default but for sites that don't you can actually download browser extensions that for sites to use an HTTPS connection as long as the site supports it some of these will also
enable sending your cookies over a secure connection to prevent cookie theft which you can learn more about here this allows your traffic to be unintelligible to attackers even over an
unsecured Wi-Fi connection.

2. Use a virtual private network or VPN for more serious security this will create a secure tunnel between your device and a proxy server that encrypts all traffic even if the site you're visiting doesn't support HTTPS VPNs are available as both free and paid services and often let you choose between various tiers of service depending on your needs.

3. Make sure to ask the management at whatever establishment you're visiting what the name of their actual Wi-Fi network is to avoid connecting to a fake access point remember identifying fakes won't always be as easy as not connecting to the shady white van parked outside Wi-Fi

Alright, guys, that's the end of the blog, thanks for reading the whole way through if you enjoyed this blog please share it with someone who would be interested and leave a comment, Thanks for reading guys.

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