Free wifi or Public wifi is what everyone wants. Whether you are in the office, at home, in school or somewhere outside, you’ll need to connect to the internet. The internet seems to have become a part of our life and our day to day activities somehow depends on it.
For instance, if you need to call someone overseas, you don’t need to use your telephone or mobile phone just to get in touch with your love ones. You can use Skype or Facebook to video call, voice call and even send or receive files. You could say, it’s way more convenient than ever before.
However, since the demand for the Internet has increased over time, almost all establishments such as coffee shops, malls or even convenient stores have made their facilities wifi zone area. Thereby, attracting more people to come to visit the place and connect to their free public wifi without any costs.
But is it safe? Is it worth risking your privacy? and more importantly, would you risk identity?
The internet as of today is full of opportunities. Good and bad.
You can work at home, you can have an online business and you can also become a victim of cybercrime or an internet hacker if you are reckless with your online activities and network you connect to.
To give you some ideas on the pros and cons of public wifi, we’ll highlight some important knowledge you should be aware of when using unsecured connection and what you can do about it.
Pros of Using Public Wifi
- Public wifi or free wifi gives you unlimited access to the world wide web.
- Public wifi is free of charge and you can enjoy as long as the network is available.
- You can watch videos, play music, games, download files from the web without any bandwidth concerns.
- You can access your work email or your office computer to continue working even outside your office premises.
- You don’t have to beg someone to give you access.
Cons of Using Public Wifi
- Public wifi tends to become slower the more users it services because of data distribution for each request.
- Public wifi is unfortunately available to everyone. Even to hackers who can mine account information from connected client devices.
- Your device can be accessed remotely and access your files because your device address is disclosed to your network provider.
- What you should access when you’re in unsecured connection
Public wifi or free wifi is indeed an unsecured connection. No matter what you say about it whether you like it or not. The fact that it is free for everyone to access, the chances of risks it has increases overtime whenever someone connects to it. Hence, you should be aware of limit your online activities when you’re connecting to public wifi or be aware of do’s and don’ts:
- Do not login any of your personal account online when using public wifi connection.
- Do not open file sharing on your mobile or laptop device to avoid potential risks
- Do not access unfamiliar websites from web Advertisements
- Accessing your work computer from outside your company premises
- Do not access mobile banking on your phone when using public wifi
How to Stay Safe when Using Public Wifi
Use TOR Browser – TOR browser is an anonymity browser helps you hide and change your public IP address. This means, your location is also being hidden from the public and your internet activities as well. TOR is available on mobile devices and desktop computer.
Use Web Proxy – Web proxy has the same behavior with TOR browser. The purpose is to hide your identity from the public eye and your online activities. However, there is no need for software installation in order to use this method as you only need a browser to get started. The difference between a web proxy and TOR is web proxy sites contain ads, TOR does not and TOR is way more secured than web proxy.
Change Your IP – Changing your IP address is also a good option to hide your online activities. However, there are only a few trustworthy and active proxy service providers. If you are not fully aware of the proxy server provider you are using, then don’t. Otherwise, you may end up being a victim of data mining scheme. So before using free proxies, you should do a little research.
Use VPN – Another effective method to hide your identity in public wifi is to encrypt your connection using a VPN. VPN is probably the most reliable anonymity you can use for all possible online activities for video streaming, file sharing, desktop remote access and many more. But VPNs are not free.