People are just realizing using certain apps on public Wi-Fi can cause dangerous data leaks – how to protect your bank
SMARTPHONE owners have been warned about using certain apps while on public Wi-Fi.
Free public Wi-Fi can feel like a godsend – especially if your phone runs on a limited plan.Smartphone owners have been warned about using certain apps while on public Wi-Fi[/caption]
However, using public Wi-Fi networks could also spell danger for you and your wallet.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS?
Experts have expressed that public Wi-Fi is the perfect breeding ground for hackers to target smartphone users.
This is due to public Wi-Fi often lacking the security measures and encryption needed to protect a smartphone user’s information.
In other instances, malicious public Wi-Fi networks are set up with the intention of targeting people.
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Threat actors can use a number of methods to target a smartphone user over public Wi-Fi.
A ‘man-in-the-middle’ (MITM) attack happens when a hacker intercepts communications between two participants to steal data.
For example, if you’re on a malicious Wi-Fi network and use an app like Venmo or Chase Banking, bad actors can break into your account.
Hackers might also try a ‘packet sniffing’ attack, which is when a hacker acquires airborne information accessed via Wi-Fi.
Some details that a hacker can steal over public Wi-Fi include email, bank details, personal photos, and even your home address.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
While most experts advise against connecting to public Wi-Fi, sometimes you have no choice.
Thus, if you do need to use it, you can protect yourself by enabling a virtual private network, or VPN.
VPNs extend a private network across a public network, allowing you to safely share and receive data.
These networks work by scrambling your personal information so that hackers can’t read it without the right decryption key.
And VPNs don’t just protect you from public Wi-Fi, but all Wi-Fi networks.
In the event you don’t have a VPN – as some of them can be quite costly – you should avoid looking at anything sensitive while on public Wi-Fi.
This means don’t make any financial transactions on payment apps, do not send any sensitive text messages, and don’t log into important accounts.