Do you consider your connection to a public Wi-Fi network to be private and secure? If you do not apply any tools to ensure a secure connection, then your connection is not secure. Wi-Fi in public places (at airports and train stations) is very convenient, but can reveal your personal data to cybercriminals. Can a public Wi-Fi connection really be secured with a VPN? Yes. Yes it can.
Hackers often have their eyes on public networks. They are easy prey on users due to the lack of basic cybersecurity protocols, and some of these networks can be deliberately created by cybercriminals in order to extort personal data. Connecting to a VPN will ensure you don't become a target for scammers while using a public network.
Is it possible to secure a connection to a public network using a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure tool on your device that provides a private and protected connection to public networks. Your device connects to the VPN server and all the communication between you and that VPN server is fully encrypted and hidden from prying eyes.
Your traffic is passed through a series of special encryptions, which makes it invulnerable to interception and scammers. To get instant encryption as soon as you connect to a public network, use a VPN app like ValeVPN. We advise you not to skip the VPN if you need to connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
What is the mechanism for securing a connection to a public network using a VPN?
At public Wi-Fi connection points, hackers can easily pick up their new victim of fraud. It is not difficult for criminals to connect to a public network due to the insecurity of such a connection.
Hackers can just plug in another router in a public space and name it "Airport Terminal C" so that the name doesn't arouse any suspicion in the layman. As soon as the traveler connects to such a network, his personal data will be leaked.
The mechanism of using VPN provides reliable encryption of your traffic flow, so that fraudsters cannot intercept it through a fake public Wi-Fi. This protection will be enough for you when connecting to any point of the public network. A strong encryption range will not give the slightest chance to cyber scammers to get to your personal data and they will remain undisclosed.
What is the danger of public Wi-Fi?
What personal data are hackers targeting after they find you on public networks? Literally all information about you. Here is a list of the most valuable information a hacker might want to collect on you at a public WIFI, the exposure of which should be prevented:
- Login data to access your email correspondence.
- Login and password to your banking account, as well as bank account details.
- Videos and photos on your device or cloud storage.
- Where you use email and what websites you surf.
These are just a small part of the information that hackers can learn about you if you connect directly to the public network.
Attack of the Evil Twin. Even your home router can be mirrored. Cybercriminals create mirrored network names so that you will connect to them without thinking twice, and then you surf their network thinking you are securely connected to your own, exposing all your traffic.
Malware installation. A virus or other malware can be installed on your computer without your knowledge through an insecure connection. They are usually extremely difficult to get rid of. Your data may easily leak right into the hands of hackers through a traffic loophole in a vulnerable device. VPN's can help block these types of attacks.
Person-in-the-middle (PITM). In this case, the cybercriminal acts as an intermediary between you and the public Wi-Fi. Such an encounter gives them complete control over your traffic and online activity, making purchases or filling out forms, you will not even suspect that you are giving away banking and personal data to scammers.
Wireless Sniffer. This is more of an observer's technique than an active attack such as the PITM. A hacker can monitor and log data passing through an unsecured network in bulk, using completely legal software.
The use of VPN technology while connecting to public Wi-Fi will provide reliable protection against all of the above attacks. Your data and bank accounts will be securely encrypted from hackers. The only information he will be able to get is the fact that you connected to a VPN service, however, the traffic itself will remain secret.
It has been estimated that about 80% of US residents use unsecured Wi-Fi with regularity. No more than 1% of residents turn on a VPN before joining a public network. In European countries, the number of people that use a VPN range from 2-6%.
Connect to public Wi-Fi using VPN securely
Contrary to computer literacy, a good half of US residents see no danger in using public Wi-Fi and consider it safe by definition. Such an attitude is unjustifiably naive and its consequences may not appear immediately, but only in the future. The alarming statistics should be a motivating factor for you in maintaining the protection of your data. Remember that the most dangerous Wi-Fi points are where there is a large flow of people - fast food courts, airports, shopping centers, hotels and train stations. The risk of hacking also increases as the number of users of a given public network increases.
Often, it is the older generation that does not feel danger when using public Wi-Fi.
Is your public Wi-Fi provider able to access your browsing history?
Yes, your public network provider has access to the browsing history. This is not always the case and depends on the router configuration and many factors. Compromised Wi-Fi routers record the history of visited domains and the time spent on them, even if you visited pages with non-confidential TLS/SSL encryption. With its help, it is also possible to keep track of what you read, listened to, or write.
On mobile devices, everything is usually the same, but in addition to the previous features, there is access to calls, instant messengers, and other mobile applications.
Can Wi-Fi prevent VPN gadgets from accessing the Internet?
VPN blocking is unlikely because most public networks are primitive. However, some ISPs manage to expose the physical location of the VPN using a special IP search tool. Such IP addresses are subsequently blocked by the firewall.
How to prevent public network hacking?
Developing the habit of securely connecting to the Internet is the main way to protect yourself from hacker attacks. Only by realizing the seriousness of the situation, you will be able to adequately respond to it and prevent a leak. Remember the following:
No automatic connection on your devices. When using public Wi-Fi, do not automatically connect. The public WIFI might actually be a hacker network that your device will connect and leak data on.
Choose the network you want to connect to carefully. Using a well-known fast-food chain or hotel, check with the staff for the exact name of the public Wi-Fi.
Avoid entering sites that require your personal information - account login and password or bank details. Use only a secure VPN connection with public Wi-Fi networks, otherwise, hackers can easily intercept your personal data.
Check your firewall and block file sharing. This is a simple piece of advice that is often overlooked for some reason. File sharing is by no means a harmful feature, but only when it comes to your own home network. With the public network, everything is exactly the opposite. Check the current signatures and protection level of your antivirus software.
Your data is as valuable as cash, property, or a car, so it also needs to be protected. Enjoy the fast and convenient public internet safely and risk-free with a secure VPN. The essence of VPN operation is to connect your device directly to a secure server and shield you from the Internet provider. Thus, your browsing history will not be available to third parties.