Know all about public wifi
Hedy Lamar was not only a beautiful Hollywood actress back in the 40s who incarnated Dalila in the movie Sanson and Dalila. At the beginning of World War II, she and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes that used the spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to overcome the threat of interference by Axis powers. The principles of his work are incorporated into Bluetooth technology and are similar to the methods used in legacy Wi-Fi versions. Nowadays, you cannot conceive living without it, to the point that many of you rely on public Wi-Fi to use our gadgets. Sometimes, you run out of data in your cellphone plan so you need to connect with any public Wi-Fi. Nevertheless, there are certain risks you might not realize yet. That is the reason why we are going to explain everything you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of public Wi-Fi. In this sense, this information is very useful for everybody who needs an internet connection in public spaces even more if you are traveling abroad and you may not know about the reliability of such public lines.
Learn the advantages of using public Wi-Fi
Counting on public Wi-Fi is a real blessing when you do not have any other way to connect to the internet. Imagine you are arriving in Rome for work, and you need to communicate with the people who are going to pick you up. As you do not have a local phone line you need internet access to reach them. Thank god the international airport Roma-Fiumicino offers free Wi-Fi without time limits! This is a pretty obvious advantage of public Wi-Fi: it takes you out of trouble when you need it most.
On the other hand, the existence of public Wi-Fi in cities implies a series of advantages that have a direct impact on society, since the digital world is even more accessible to all, allowing the bulk of society to have access to the Internet and therefore facilitate access to information to the entire population.
Therefore, cities that provide the greatest amount of free Wi-Fi spots (or hotspots) are positioned above others in terms of tourism because they are a meeting point for those inhabitants of nearby areas and tourists who value Internet accessibility.
Besides, by eliminating this digital limit, government entities tend to facilitate bureaucratic procedures to their inhabitants, speeding up their effectiveness and optimizing their access to those efforts that can be performed digitally. For example, you could renewal your driver's license or paying your taxes online.
Moreover, once a city takes care to increase the free accessibility to the Internet, that city also increases its possibility to become a smart city. You must know that a smart city is which uses infrastructure, innovation, and technology to reduce energy consumption and reduce toxic emissions. They also improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and increase the sustainability of the city, since the technological commitment also facilitates the saving of energy consumption, with the programming of city services.
Meet the disadvantages of public Wi-Fi:
In other matters, and remembering these wise words from Rumplestiltskin, you need to understand that all magic comes with a price, dearie. So there are plenty of issues to be aware of when you are using public Wi-Fi. The main thing to know is there are two types of public Wi-Fi networks: secured networks and insecure networks. To connect to an insecure network, it must be within the necessary range and it is dangerous because it does not have an element that blocks unwanted interference. Instead, a secure network requires that the user accept the legal conditions for its use must register an account or have the corresponding password to enter that network. For example, if you are in a cafeteria, it may be necessary to consume a product to enter the network or make a purchase at the store in which you want to use the system. However, there are many dangers to use public Wi-Fi. One of them is the high possibility of infecting your device with malware. That is any type of malicious software that may infect your computer, tablet or smartphone. Hackers use malware for multiple purposes, such as extracting personal information or passwords, stealing money or preventing owners from accessing their device. Furthermore, using public Wi-Fi might lead you to a very common phishing strategy, in which if the user wants to enter his email, for example, the scammer redirects him to a page that looks a lot, but is not the original to be able to get your credentials to sell your data in the black market or to commit other types of fraud by email. Then, while browsing secures pages (Https) or using familiar applications, your data is not in danger. In this case, you have to be especially careful with passwords, since if you are on an unsecured network (Http), a sniffer could detect your traffic without encryption. Also if you access a subscription or a forum with the same username and password you use for everything, a cybercriminal could enter your Facebook, email, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Besides, another of the most common threats on public networks is called a Man in the Middle or MITM (“person in-between”) attack. The MITM attack is a kind of espionage. When a computer or a telephone connects to the Internet, data is sent from that device to a service or web page. You can also get a worm that is very similar to traditional computer viruses but does not need a program to anchor to function because the worms can spread by themselves. When connected to a public Wi-Fi network without proper security settings, a worm can enter your computer from another device connected to the same network you are using, which causes a serious mess in your device.
How can you be safe using public Wi-Fi?
Now, as you already know all the dangers of public Wi-Fi, there are a few things you can do to be safe.
- Try to connect through a secure public network whenever possible. Otherwise, use a secure network. You can recognize it because the system should request some type of access or register to enter that network.
- Do not enter online banking or government websites where your personal information is handled.
- Refrain from sending files through unsecured websites
- Do not buy anything online when using public Wi-Fi, as you must send your bank information or customer access numbers.
- Turn off the automatic Wi-Fi network connection system when it finds you in unknown places.
- You must monitor the Bluetooth connection in public places, because the Bluetooth connection allows several elements to connect, which could allow a hacker to see and manage to open the signal used by their intelligent systems and thus have access over your connected devices
Last, but not least, if you are traveling one of the best ways to protect your self is having a pocket Wi-Fi also known as Mifi. The guys from My Webspot offer a fantastic MiFi which is a small wireless hotspot that connects to the internet through a mobile network (in 4G) and broadcast a Wi-Fi that allows any Wi-Fi enabled device to get access to the internet with a fast and secure connection. We hope you are feeling safer with this information, from now on make intelligent decisions to protect your privacy, and enjoy a risk-free internet connection.
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