Dangers of Public WiFi
While it may seem convenient and essential to some to be constantly connected to the internet, you should really think twice before connection to open, public WiFi connections. Using public WiFi to use social media, or send and read emails, or even check bank accounts, can leave you open to a whole hosts of issues. Whether intentional or not, the problem with most public WiFi connections is that they aren’t secured in any way. This means that anyone and everyone can seamlessly connect to the network with any number of devices, and while most will simply use it for it’s intended purpose, there are those who would exploit the network and every device connected to it.
The most common of these attacks on open WiFi connections is a Man in the Middle attack. This enables the attacker, the “man in the middle”, to eavesdrop on your connection to the internet, essentially reading all the data that you exchange with the internet. This attack is made easier by the fact that most open connections lack any sort of encryption. Encryption is an important factor in any network, as it translates the data being sent between your computer and the network into something unreadable by an outsider. Without encryption your data is plainly readable to anyone who knows how to get access to it.
Not all public networks are plagued by these issues, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Because you never know who might be eavesdropping on your connection.