Using Wi-Fi? Protect Yourself From Hackers when Using a Public Network
As the online community grows, many of us use Wi-Fi hotspots to check emails, handle banking tasks, or conduct daily business. The convenience is simply too great an opportunity to pass up. However, with this increase comes the inevitable rise in cyber-crimes. By using public networks, you open yourself up to the loss of sensitive information, as particular applications are designed to lift these details…quietly, of course. From Firesheep to the aptly-coined “Stalker App”, there are new threats emerging every day. And, because nearly all aspects of our lives are shifting to the digital realm, protecting information requires extra steps beyond installing anti-malware utilities.
Encryption – Your Best Line of Defense
Let’s imagine that you are sitting in a local restaurant, enjoying your lunch and working on a laptop computer. You are using the Wi-Fi that the location provides as a convenience to customers, and handling your usual online activities. However, another individual on the network is lurking, waiting for you to log-in to specific sites. What he quickly learns, however, is that any information he is gathering is useless due to top-notch encryption that your VPN server provides. Before conducting any business, you were sure to log-onto the VPN, ensuring protection regardless of the “grab” attempts at your information.
The example above is a common theme for Internet users that are utilizing local Wi-Fi hotspots. Data sniffers and activity logs can be all a cyber-criminal needs to gather sensitive information and exploit it for personal gain. When this information is encrypted, there is little that can be done to compromise the data. This provides an important layer of protection for anyone who commonly uses public Wi-Fi access points.
Many users do not realize that public networks can be littered with cyber-criminals interesting in capturing even the minutest piece of information. With identity theft on the rise, and banking institutions continuing to move operations online, there have never been more risks for Internet users. From government restrictions to IP search compiling tools, everything you do on a public network can be tracked and documenting, making it difficult to accomplish anything without risking privacy.
VPNs are the perfect utility in the prevention of cyber-crime. Using encrypted networks, users can use public Wi-Fi hotspots at will, without concern for who may be snooping around in their browsing history. Take the steps necessary to protect your information – use VPN encryption and never again worry about who else may be online!
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