Every one of us is connected through internet. It has ultimately become the new form of communication and have changed how social interaction shall be made, how news should be delivered, and most importantly, it has changed how information can be shared and how our life, no matter how we may think it’s insignificant, might actually have a huge impact because of what we share and post online.
We all want to have unlimited and free access with Wi-Fi – we actually want it 24/7 because internet has probably become our way of life now.
And you have probably used your neighbor’s connection or made the nearest coffee shop your hangout place for a free connection, or you may have even stayed longer in the mall to surf the internet.
But did you know the possible risks that you can get from using an unsecured connection for the sake of staying up to date with the latest trends online?
You probably don’t.
Now every time that you turn your Wi-Fi on, think of the possible circumstances and situations you’ll probably get yourself into due to unsecured connection.
Accessing your login details
If you’re wired to an unsecured connection and unfortunately unaware of hackers nearby, they could actually access your personal information based on your activities while online. Which means if you’re using this free unsecured connection for social media activities, making online transactions, you’re actually giving free access to the hackers who might even steal and change your passwords without your consent.
The data that you have consumed could probably be transmitted to third parties which may lead to unaware change of personal information or even hacking on different private accounts such as online bank account.
From all over the globe, banks have experienced a huge loss for they have neglected on their risk management possible problem that may arise from taking their services online.
Some have been caught, but there are numerous hackers who have managed to get in to the system of these banks to money which may also happen to you and your bank account if you are not cautious of having your device connected to an unprotected data.
Getting your Data
Aside from accessing login credentials of your online accounts, unsecured connection leads you to unconsciously spreading of your information to anyone such as images and media files on your devices and even emails and instant messages which can be highly important and private.
This method has been reported as a way of some hackers into blackmailing their victims and asking for money in return for their personal files not to be leaked in public.
Malicious Software Infection
Did you know that when hundreds of users connect to the same network which is deemed to be unsafe, it’s the fastest way for cyber-criminals to spread malicious software that can cause viruses to your devices?
It can attack the websites that you’re visiting and cause malicious activities that in return may affect your device.
Not only your personal data has been robbed from you beyond your knowledge, but it may cause damage or inconvenient disturbance to the business operations of companies whose main form of showcasing their products is through their website.
Unknown involvement in Illegal Transactions
Aside from the fact that cyber-hackers have the ability to get and modify information of users who are connected to the same unprotected network, they’ll also have the power to perform illegal transactions and processes such as transmitting of illicit materials or spreading and keeping of legal documents and intellectual properties that may lead to serious legal matters to the hosts of the network.
Although there hasn’t been strong enough laws to defend victims of such cases, actions shall be taken in order to further improve laws covering issues related on the internet.
Access of information on your PC
Once you have your personal computer connected to an unsafe network and your firewall is not strong enough or have been misconfigured, it would be easy for a hacker to get through your PC and its hard drive to see all the data and/or information you have stored in your PC.
The hackers can put malicious malware to your personal computer that will prevent you from either accessing your files and much worse have a computer that functions well all because we have relied on an unsafe connection without digging through the possible effects of it and if it’s generally fine to be used and utilized by the public.
Getting through Corporate Network
If in case the wireless network is wired in a corporate network through a site-to-site VPN, there’s likely a high chance of getting compromised because a hacker may access the VPN easily if the connection is not protected at all.
Spreading of Virus and SPAM
Unsecured connection could also allow hackers to spread out SPAM and virus attacks because they wouldn’t be traced at all since it’s an open and unprotected network connection. For example, if you have been receiving SPAM on your email or have opened a file that has a virus, this may either led to corrupting files on your PC or laptop or your PC itself will be inflicted with the virus.
These cases usually happens with companies especially when a regular employee have hastily open emails without giving it a thought or assessment if it’s appropriate to open files with malicious subject, content, file and/or link.
As anyone would like to point out, connection is the new way of bridging gap between countries. It’s through these wireless networks that people have been effortlessly connection by just sharing and talking online.
But with great advantages comes great challenges and responsibilities that we should all shoulder as a regular internet user.
And although it’s pretty normal especially in public areas to share an open connection, always check if it’s secured and legitimate before you found yourself being blackmailed, threatened, or accused of something illegal that you have never done for your whole existence.
What you can do to secure public internet connections?