The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi Browsing Without a VPN  

These days, even the most sensitive strains of data are shared online, including passwords, money, cryptocurrency, etc. As a result, privacy matters and concerns about safe browsing are becoming increasingly relevant. This applies to both the personal data of individual users like you and highly confidential data belonging to companies.

To avoid data theft, the smartest potential approach is to avail long lasting Wi-Fi plans such as Spectrum One. However, even these are not unlimited. Therefore, it is almost impossible to escape the inevitable need to use a public network. This is where VPNs come into the picture. Even on a private network connection, your data is exposed to far more threats than you would expect. Without a VPN you are vulnerable to identity theft, loss of data, crypto theft, and hacking. Therefore, VPNs are extremely important for all networks alike.  

However, with public networks, browsing without a VPN is far riskier, one of the biggest NO of internet usage. A public Wi-Fi network is one that is free for all. It is a place where all sorts of people are not only using the same internet service but can also potentially access other people’s data. In case you did not know the aforementioned facts and are now deeply concerned, don’t worry! This blog will walk you through it. Here is a breakdown of all you need to know regarding VPNs, public Wi-Fi usage, and internet safety. 

What Is a VPN? 

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a tool that allows a user to join a private network from a public one. It essentially does so by masking the user’s IP address and creating an encrypted and private tunnel for each user. They can usually be bought on a yearly subscription basis, although free versions are available with limited services. 

What Are the Dangers of Exposed Browsing? 

Because VPNs are considered an investment, many people see them as a waste of money and do not feel the need to avail them. However, that is a common and very damaging misconception. Here is a list of potential threats you are exposed to without a VPN, to change your mind: 

Evil Twin Attacks 

An evil twin is a fraudulent public Wi-Fi point that resembles a legitimate one, to confuse people into getting scammed, hacked, and eavesdropped upon. It often happens that when we go to a restaurant or mall, there are two similar-looking Wi-Fi connections that are available. While this appears harmless, clicking on the wrong one can potentially expose a user’s data to many threats.  

Wi-Fi Pineapples 

A Wi-Fi pineapple is a device used to perform penetration tests and network attacks. Though created for ethical hackers to detect security weaknesses, it can be misused by malicious ones to steal and use confidential and personal data. 

Cookie theft is the process of unencrypted data being stolen by third-party hackers, to impersonate a user. Cookies determine a user’s internet preferences and interactions, based on their search history and usage patterns. Therefore, by stealing a user’s unprotected cookies, a hacker can easily impersonate them. 

Computer Worms 

A computer worm is the kind of standalone malware that can replicate from one computer to another on its own, once launched onto a system. If a public network is exposed to it, all of its users are under threat of being affected. 

Man in the Middle Attacks 

This is a cyberattack that goes by many names and is defined by a third party acting as the middleman in a two-party online exchange. The two unsuspecting parties involved have no idea that their interaction has been intercepted and is not end-to-end encrypted, allowing the third to eavesdrop and alter exchanged messages. 

Phishing Attacks 

Phishing attacks refer to malicious spam emails sent to users to fall for scams. They can be forms or emails that require private information such as one’s bank details, location or social security number. For users using public Wi-Fi with an exposed connection, there is an exponentially increased likelihood for their contact information to be detected. This means there is a high probability that they could be included in phishing loops.  

Is It Safe to Use Public Wi-Fi with a VPN? 

After hearing about all the horrors public Wi-Fi might expose you to, it would be no surprise if you are too scared to even think about connecting the next time you visit the grocery store. However, have no fears, because connecting to a VPN and hiding your IP address helps prevent all the risks discussed. Because VPNs ensure that your network is end-to-end encrypted, you are no longer vulnerable to external attacks! Meaning whereby, VPNs are a one-stop solution to all the previously mentioned malware, viruses, scams, and threats! 

Leave a Comment

Exit mobile version