We all love the Public WiFi networks and they are pretty useful at times as they are free and often help you save on your data plan. The problem is that not all public WiFi networks are protected and you might become a victim of a hacker sitting just beside you or even at the comfort of his home and tracking your every click and personal details. It is almost an impossible task for an unsuspected user or a computer novice to spot a fake WiFi network but still, there are ways to be safe if you develop some check habits while using public wireless networks. Here’s a list of our 5 warning signs you should be aware of to spot a fake public WiFi.
1. Getting access even with a wrong password
The easiest way to spot a phony public WiFi network by entering a wrong password. If you purposely enter the wrong password and you don’t get an error message, the network is most likely a fake one. A fake WiFi network will usually let anyone access it regardless of the password they enter. So the next time you come across a public WiFi that grants you access with a wrong password, simply don’t use it.
2. Slow connection speeds
Whenever you’re on a public WiFi network, look out for slow connection speeds. Usually, the hackers use mobile internet to connect you to the web and such connections have slow speeds. It is easier for a hacker to redirect you to a fake website if you connect through their device.
3. HTTP and HTTPS
Every time you’re on a public WiFi, pay close attention to the address bar of the websites you visit. Most importantly always refrain from using your bank’s website on a free public network. Make sure to check for the lock symbol just before the address of the website you visit. If the website shows an un-encrypted HTTP version instead of HTTPS, your connection is unsafe and your passwords and details are at risk.
4. Fake domains and Evil Twins
Fake domains are those that often use misnamed addresses and you need to watch out for them while browsing on a public WiFi network. Hackers often use fake domains and even a similar name of popular WiFi network (such networks are called ‘Evil Twins’) that sound trustworthy but in reality, are just fake networks used to trick you.
Though a malware can attack any kind of data network they also influence wireless networks especially public WiFi networks. Malware is a virus that enters wireless networks, sends requests, and connects to the local area networks (LAN) to get access to the nearest wireless networks and corrupt the network system coming in its way. So if you experience unnecessary pop-ups and suspicious links while browsing on a public WiFi, it is best advised to not to fall for them and stop using that very network.
Additional Tip: If you are travelling and are unsure of the safety of the public WiFi networks, simply buy a local sim card with a 3G or 4G data plan to use a secure internet. Moreover always use a quality VPN, check for SSL and do not forget to use the two-step authentication for your banking and social accounts. Happy Browsing.
Also Read: How 5G will impact Internet of things?