Unfortunately, public or free Wi-Fi has become an ideal spot for hackers in this era of digitalization. I personally feel if you use a free Wi-Fi while on the go, you may face various security issues. Therefore, you must take precautionary measures as you may anticipate so many free Wi-Fi security risks on your mobile devices.

In this post, I will identify different free Wi-Fi threats that can harm your online identity considerably.

What are the risks associated while using public Wi-Fi

Seriously, if you do not know risks those are associated with public Wi-Fi, you live in fools’ paradise. In my opinion, it is high time for you to give a thought about the notion of encrypted lifestyle. This concept suggests whatever you do over the internet; you should secure your personal information first.

If I am streaming my favorite TV show through torrenting, I must protect my online identity with a VPN. In this case, the role of cheap good VPN services comes in handy. Moreover, if you are availing free public Wi-Fi to perform your crucial tasks online, you had better connect to an online privacy service.

Considering the consequences of free Wi-Fi security risks, here is the list of risks interlinked with public Wi-Fi:

  • Snooping and sniffing
  • Malware distribution through free Wi-Fi
  • Lack of seamless user experience
  • Lack of productivity

Snooping and Sniffing

The biggest drawback of using public Wi-Fi is snooping and sniffing that allows cybercriminals to attack Wi-Fi signals. They can purchase specific software and gadgets to achieve their objectives of accessing users’ data or information.

As a result, hackers can trace your online activities like web surfing according to their own needs.

Malware distribution through free Wi-Fi

Similarly, hackers can spread malware on your mobile phones by accessing free Wi-Fi networks. If you are using the internet with the help of public Wi-Fi, chances are that you may find malware on your devices. Therefore, I would not recommend you to avail public Wi-Fi facility at any cost. You can manage your Wi-FI Router with a WPS button on the router.

Lack of seamless user experience

Besides other free Wi-Fi security risks, I have encountered an inconvenient user experience while using public Wi-Fi. This is because you do not have to pay while availing free internet service. As a result, you can anticipate issues like spams, popups, session time-outs, low network speeds and so on.

Lack of productivity

This is another area of concern since trying to access free Wi-Fi may cost productivity a great deal. It means when you have to go through shady user experience, you are unable to perform high priority tasks that take a lot of bandwidth.

This way, you cannot conduct tasks like video conferencing, multi-media applications access, downloading heavy data files and others.

How to stay safe on public Wi-Fi

You can stay safe while opting for free public Wi-Fi through a VPN. Yes, you have read that correctly. Likewise, you can take other measures that allow you to protect your privacy on free Wi-Fi networks. Here is the list of different steps you can take to use public Wi-Fi safely:

  • Use a VPN
  • Disable file sharing feature
  • Turn off Wi-Fi when you do not use it
  • Use SSL connections

Use a VPN

As already mentioned, VPNs have become last resorts for securing privacy of users on public Wi-Fi. When you want to bypass the snooping and sniffing activities of hackers, nothing beats the importance of Virtual Private Network (VPN). Remember to choose a fast VPN for the best and uninterrupted internet experience.

When you connect to a VPN server, your data is passed through a secure tunnel. Thus, you are able to spoof your online locations from vicious eyes of snoopers. By doing so, you become anonymous and snoopers cannot trace what you do online.

Disable file sharing feature

Do you want to use file sharing feature while using internet through Wi-Fi at public places? If not then turn off sharing feature by going to system preferences or control panel. These security measures will safeguard from massive data thefts.

Turn off Wi-Fi when you do not use it

You should turn off your Wi-Fi when you do not want to use the internet. This is because your Wi-Fi still transmits your data to another network available within the range. Once you have turned off your Wi-Fi, hackers cannot access your data.

In addition, you can improve the battery life of your devices to another level.

Use SSL Connection

You are not completely out of luck if you do not have a VPN at your disposal. You can include a layer of encryption to your connection by enabling ‘Always use HTTPS” option on your mobile devices. You can use the said option on your frequently visited websites.

Final Thoughts

I hope you would have realized different free Wi-Fi security risks in detail through my post. All the risks described above are still manageable if you follow the above-mentioned solutions in the right direction. By doing so, you can safeguard your privacy and still use free public Wi-Fi anonymously.

Author's Bio: 

Umar Bajwa is a blogger and professional content writer loves to write about lifestyle, fitness and health related topics.