Why are public WiFi considered so unsafe for your data?

Why are public WiFi considered so unsafe for your data?

Even though our mobile packages are becoming more and more generous in terms of data, everyone once found themselves without the Internet and had to settle for a public or open WiFi. It often happens during holidays or abroad, where it is not possible to benefit from a 4G connection. However, these open WiFi are potentially dangerous.

A hacker or a novice hacker can easily find out what you’re doing on your smartphones, from visiting websites to passwords to your email or bank account.

Why is open WiFi so easy to hack?

The answer is in the question: because it is open. Most WiFi routers do not by default encrypt the data they receive and transmit. It is necessary for its owner to activate it in the options. If this is not the case, it means that once anyone can connect to a WiFi point, anyone can also look at what a network neighbor is doing. It requires some knowledge and software to do it. But they are neither particularly complicated to find nor complicated to handle.

Man-in-the-middle attacks

This is probably the most common attack that can be found on open WiFi. The principle is simple; the hacker will look at the data that flows between your smartphone or PC and the router and see in real time what you are doing. The latter will suck up all the data that passes through the network and reassemble it using software to visualize what the user has been able to consult on the Internet but also to show what he has entered on these websites. Or, for an experienced hacker, modify the site the user visits to steal his or her credentials.

However, with one limitation: it will be impossible to see what is displayed on HTTPS sites, whose connection is encrypted. The hacker will know that you have logged into a particular site, but will not know what you have seen or the data (password, login) you have entered. Generally speaking, if you have no choice but to connect to an open WiFi hotspot, go to HTTPS sites. The vast majority of websites have already switched to HTTPS, as is the case on FrAndroid.

An excellent way to deploy malware

Connecting to an open and potentially unencrypted network is also a unique opportunity for a hacker to install malware by exploiting one or more vulnerabilities in an operating system. As soon as he can access your PC’s network (this is less the case on smartphones, much more restrictive on the network aspect), he can easily inject malicious code to infect your device.

A threat that does not necessarily target a tourist on the run, but can easily affect travel professionals.

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