BEWARE!!! Public -Wi-Fi a security concern
Using a Wi-fi network gives us a freedom to stay connected on internet without any wire and cable attached to devices. Multiple devices can be connected with one Wi-fi network from any corner of the house or in public place. That in one side gives us luxury of flexibility and mobility but at the same time poses significant risk, especially with public Wi-fi.
- Apeksha Maurya, 8th, DAV Public School, Jasola Vihar, New Delhi
- Mallika Srivastav, 8th, D.A.V Public School Jasola Vihar New Delhi
- Rashi Gupta, 8th, DAV Public School, Jasola Vihar, New Delhi.
- Aaradhya Thakur, 8th, Ramagya school, Noida
Cartoon Contributed by:
- Vedagya Jha, 6th, Manthan School, Greater Noida
- Rashi Gupta, 8th, DAV Public School, Jasola Vihar, New Delhi
What is Wi-Fi:
Wi-Fi stands for “wireless fidelity”. The Wi-Fi was invented by AT&T in Netherlands in 1991. Wi-Fi has been developed for mobile computing devices, such as laptops, but now it is also extensively being used for electronic devices like televisions, DVD players and digital cameras. The wi-fi network is everywhere, in home, in restaurant, in coffee shop, railway station or airport. Wi-fi network gives us a freedom to remain connected at any place and any time but this freedom comes at a price. There is a huge risk of data theft if wi-fi network is not secure.
Wi-Fi network uses can be divided in three categories.
- Corporate Wi-fi: Wi-fi network used in Corporate office building.
- Home Wi-fi: The Wi-fi we are using in our home.
- Public Wi-fi: This Wi-fi is available at public places and it is the most insecure network. In this article we will talk about Public Wi-fi.
There are basically two kinds of public Wi-Fi networks:
- Unsecured: An unsecured network can be connected to within range and without any type of security feature like a password or login credentials.
- Secured: A secured network requires a user to agree to register an account, or type in a password before connecting to the network. It may also require a fee to gain access to the password or network.
When we go to public place like restaurant, movie hall, railway station or air ports everywhere, we find multiple wi-fi access point available to connect. These freely available Wi-fi networks are unsecured network. Such networks have been set up to ease common people in accessing internet without using their mobile data. But such wi-fi network have many risks.
The Risks of a Public Wi-fi:
- No Authentication required: Usually there is no authentication required to connect to public wi-fi network. One side it gives convenience to users to avail Internet facility, on the other side, it gives hackers a big opportunity to connect to the same network and peep into such ignorant user’s devices.
- Malware infection: This being a public network, it provides an open field for fraudsters to lay traps in form of malware such as trojans and steal data of ignorant users.
- Unencrypted networks: Most public wi-fi networks don’t send encrypted traffic. Hence, the data gets transmitted over the network in plain text. Anyone who has some basic level of networking understanding can read all the data of a user connected in such insecure network.
- Malicious hotspots: Hacker can set up their own rogue access points to trick victims into connecting to what they think is a legitimate network. Upon logging in, the victim’s keystrokes are recorded and stolen to obtain personal information.
- Avoid using the services of free Wi-Fi. It could be a trap.
- Free Wi-fi service provided by Govt authorities and business organizations may be legitimate. But avoid using its service to log into your sensitive accounts such as banking, emails etc. As far as possible, use such networks to surf Internet for general information only.
- If essential to use public Wi-fi, use a VPN, to make sure your public Wi-Fi connections are made private
- Ensure your device settings are such that they don’t auto-connect to Wi-fi networks
- Never Leave your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on in your device if you are not using them
- Always disable file sharing