Risks of using public wi-fi networks
- Installation of malware, viruses and worms.
- Rogue network or access point that is installed on a networks’s infrastructure without the administrator’s knowledge. This security breach disguises itself as a legitimate wi-fi connection to trick users into connection to it.
- Encryption-free connection which allow hackers to monitor all file sharing and traffic between the user and the server on a public wi-fi network.
- Network snooping which allows hackers to remotely monitor activity on a third-party’s laptop. This may include credit card numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information.
- Log-in credential vulnerability cause by weak and predictable passwords.
- Fake system update alerts with data-exfiltration capabilities designed to steal information from smart phones.
- Session hijacking allowing cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to data on a network user’s device.
How to Ensure Public Wi-Fi Security?
- Set up a VPN (virtual private network) with end-to-end encryption.
- Turn off wi-fi auto-connect and bluetooth discoverability settings to prevent hackers from gaining undetected peer-to-peer access.
- Ensure that remote employees have firewall enabled on all their devices.
- Use mobile hotspots provided by mobile carriers in lieu of public unencrypted wi-fi networks.
- Use strong, unique passwords that include letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Educate employees on the dangers of public wi-fi networks and how to protect themselves and company assets from malicious attacks.