At some point, vacation meant getting away from the humdrum of usual life and leaving all the worries behind. It involved taking a break from the connected world. However, now with advanced digitalization and rise in web-enabled devices, our smartphones and public Wi-Fi keep us connected while we are on the go. Even though free Wi-Fi is convenient and money saving, especially while traveling internationally, they are not secure. Using public Wi-Fi is very dangerous and puts you at the risk of potential identity theft.
In the past traveling safely was all about protecting your wallet and other valuables from pickpockets. But now, travelers need to safeguard their digital lives as well. Just as you will never leave your wallet unattended, inviting everybody to access it and see its contents, you should not use public Wi-Fi and allow hackers to access your device and its contents.
Here are some of the most visited spots by tourists which offer free public Wi-Fi, and how to be safe while using their Wi-Fi network:
If your vacation involves a lot of flying, then you might have planned on checking your emails and Facebook feed. A number of airports provide free Wi-Fi. However, this Wi-Fi connection is not always secure. If you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi, then you are leaving your data exposed. Any other individual can connect to the same network and monitor your activity.
If you absolutely have to connect to public Wi-Fi, then be vigilant about your browsing activity. It is better if you do not access any website that needs you to log in as cybercriminals may be using spyware to steal your login credentials. Moreover, do not make any online transactions while using a public Wi-Fi.
Restaurants and Coffee Shops
Starbucks is a caffeine addicted traveler’s respite. Apart from corporate coffee shop chains, local cafes also provide free Wi-Fi access.
There are a lot more Wi-Fi enabled smartphones now. As travelers, we often browse the web while sipping on a cup of joe in a local coffee shop. Even while waiting in the queue at a cafe, we whip out our handheld to catch up with the world. When you connect to a public wireless network, you put yourself at risk.
For example, you connect to a public wireless network and sign in to your email. Now, the hacker has your email login details. You might be wondering how? Well, hackers deceive people and launch man in the middle attacks to steal their login credentials.
Now, while relaxing cozily in your hotel room, you may want to check in on Facebook. To do that, you call up the reception and ask them for the Wi-Fi password. Now, many hotels do not have free Wi-Fi, but it does not mean that they are secure. The Wi-Fi network could be lacking in security settings. Moreover, the password might be the factory generated one. Therefore be extra careful while connecting to a wireless network offered by your hotel.