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What Happens To Your Phone When You Connect It With A Free Wi-Fi?

It is quite common to scan for and connect to public WiFi points which are not password protected and let you log into the internet cheaply and directly. In fact, nowadays, various selling points like restaurant chains have started offering a free WiFi connection to patrons, and in many places, there are public WiFi hotspots provided by the local council.

However, it's a smart move to be cautious when it comes to connecting to a public WiFi. 

Let's take a look at what actually happens and what an eavesdropper sees when you use an unsecured public WiFi network.

What Happens To Your Phone When You Connect It With A Free Wi-Fi?

What Happens To Your Phone When You Connect It With A Free Wi-Fi?

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  in Lifestyle

There are a few significant problems in using a public WiFi network.

There are a few significant problems in using a public WiFi network.

The open nature of the network permits for snooping; the network could be full of compromised machines, or most worryingly; the hotspot itself could be malicious.

You might be missing the small red flags that signal trouble.

You might be missing the small red flags that signal trouble.

When you are tapping into an unfamiliar hotspot, you could potentially be putting your personal data and the security things (like your bank accounts, passwords, identity) at risk.

Someone can connect to the same network and spy on data communication.

Someone can connect to the same network and spy on data communication.

Yes, it's shocking but true, anyone connected to the network could capture the data traffic sent from your device. And for this, there are also free apps available which are quite simple. 

It's very simple to capture your browsed web pages.

It's very simple to capture your browsed web pages.

Anyone can see what pages you are connected to, what you write on a forum or any other type of unencrypted page. 

Beware sending login credentials through FTP.

Beware sending login credentials through FTP.

If you are still using File Transfer Protocol to download, upload, or share files, you should avoid connecting to them over unsecured WiFi networks. This is because, most FTP servers use unencrypted connections, so both login credentials and data are sent in plain text, where any snoop can quickly capture them. 

Computers aren't the only devices susceptible to eavesdropping.

Computers aren't the only devices susceptible to eavesdropping.

There's an app named "DroidSheep" which can be used to gain access to private accounts on popular web services like, Gmail, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Facebook.

While it doesn't capture the passwords to those sites, it can exploit the vulnerability that allows them to open the site using your current session, giving them full access to your account in the process. 

What if you know that the WiFi Hotspot is reliable, like in shops and restaurants? 

What if you know that the WiFi Hotspot is reliable, like in shops and restaurants? 

Well, here also, no one can guarantee that the router has not been imperilled, or that the DNS configuration hasn't been modified, which would allow an attack like the one described above.

This is chaos! Is there any way to protect against these attacks?

This is chaos! Is there any way to protect against these attacks?

Yes, there are. Just use VPN (Virtual Private Network) service, always look for HTTPS, keep your current security patches installed and system updated, and you are done. Yeaaa!

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