Odds are, the last time you were at a coffee shop, you thought, “I’m paying for the coffee – I might as well use the free Wi-Fi.”
There’s no doubt that Wireless Internet, or Wi-Fi, connections are everyone’s favourite free service. However, using free, public Wi-Fi is dangerous, especially for a business professional.
1. Anyone can access it
Unless a Wi-Fi router is protected with a passcode, it’s likely that the network is vulnerable to hacking attacks and other threats. Even with a passcode, if the router isn’t configured properly, it’s still vulnerable. When anyone can access a Wi-Fi signal, nothing stops a hacker from connecting to the router and spying on others who are connected to the network.
It’s worth mentioning that, although we use the term “hacker,” even a mischievous child with a bit of curiosity could access your files if the Wi-Fi connection isn’t secure.
2. It’s highly used
The more people who use a Wi-Fi connection, the more likely it is that one of them will be a hacker. Hackers know that free Wi-Fi draws a crowd, so they use the service themselves for the convenience of finding many new targets at once.
3. Data isn’t encrypted
Quite often, open and free Wi-Fi networks do not bother with encrypting your data. Encryption is an extra layer of protection for data that’s sent to, and received from, a Wi-Fi connection. When routers have encryption, hackers have a harder time stealing data. No encryption? No protection.
While unsecured public Wi-Fi routers aren’t something that you have direct control over, you can be cautious about using them when you’re out and about. There are three best practices for avoiding a potentially risky Wi-Fi network in a public place:
If your business needs its employees to stay connected while on the move, contact Michael Anderson. We’ll help your team understand the best way to work around potentially threatening situations.
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