Free WiFi is great! Isn’t it? Umm. Not really. Many people don’t know & just don’t comprehend the meaning of free wifi. Because when you log in or sign up for a free WiFi service, you are giving up some part of your private life (In a digital sense). There is a saying “If you are not paying for a product, you are the product”. Free Public WiFi’s are same. They take something from you to give something very cheap.
Why avoid using Free public WiFi
Rather than explaining why you shouldn’t use it, we want to explain what exactly happens when we connect to free WiFi on the street / Malls / Coffee Shops. Free WiFi’s are usually given out by business who have a ton of money to shed on attracting more customers and users to enhance their profit. That is their basic “motto” of free WiFi. There are very few instances where you don’t need to input some or the other credentials and this is where your data is compromised. You are asked to input your Mobile Number / Email where your mobile number is sent an SMS with a code to insert in the Sign-Up page for the free WiFi.
In short, you are compromising your own privacy and security. And then you wonder how you get so many SPAM Emails/Calls/SMS. It is just plain pure business, these companies also sell your data to other companies. A classic example of Unroll.me, an application who unsubscribed you from spam emails but also sold your email address to companies like Uber.
Other than this, Free Public WiFi’s are completely insecure, any one on the same WiFi access point can eavesdrop on your network and see what you are doing. Moreover, if you should avoid logging into your private accounts on social media less alone banking apps. There is a much higher chance of you getting hacked than you getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Many Free WiFi routers have a highly proficient Firewalls but that won’t stop an experienced professional and this is why it is advised to avoid using Free public WiFi.
How to be safe while using Free WiFi?
Keep everything updated.
Use HTTPS everywhere.
Use a VPN
Avoid using social media and emails.
Stay away completely from Banking web sites & Apps.