There are many things that you can do to protect yourself when you are accessing the Internet via a public Wi-Fi network. However, the primary thing that you need to do is use a VPN. It is when you have a VPN connection in a place that you can get the level of protection that you need when you use public Wi-Fi networks. Here are details on how you can protect yourself when you are on public Wi-Fi networks using a VPN.
The necessity of Public Wi-Fi networks
Public Wi-Fi networks provide an easy and convenient way of accessing the internet, particularly when you are travelling. Also, it is common for people to connect to public Wi-Fi networks when they are hanging out in restaurants and other public places.
As it is the case with any other Wi-Fi network, public Wi-Fi networks have a router that serves all the devices that use the network. Therefore, on a public Wi-Fi network, tens or even hundreds of devices share a single source of connectivity to the internet via the Wi-Fi router. Although the nature of public Wi-Fi networks makes them convenient, it also exposes users to various risks. It is because of the risks that you face when you use a public Wi-Fi network that you always need to use a VPN for protection.
Why you need to use a VPN
One of the reasons as to why you need to use a VPN when you are on a public Wi-Fi is related to the security vulnerabilities of such networks. Hackers can exploit the vulnerabilities that exist on such networks. It is possible for seasoned hackers, armed with the best hacking tools, to successfully access the administrator features of the router of a public Wi-Fi. Once hackers gain such access to the router, they usually hijack all the traffic on the network and direct it to fake sites. The criminals then use the fake sites to steal the credentials of the people using the network.
Second, hackers can use complex hacking procedures to get in-between your computer and the websites that you are accessing when using a public Wi-Fi network. This type of attack, which is called Man in the Middle, may lead to loss of privacy and credentials. If hackers succeed in carrying out this type of attack on a network that you are using, the hackers can successfully read all the details that you fill in websites.
How to use a VPN for protection
The basic procedure of using a VPN to protect yourself when you are using public Wi-Fi networks is similar to what you do to bypass geo-restrictions or hide your IP address. In the first place, you need to have an account with a good VPN service. Remember that all VPN services are unique in that they use different security features, have different pricing plans and use different policies. Therefore, do not forget to compare several services before you settle on one that meets all your needs.
Second, you will have to activate your VPN service all the time that you are accessing the Internet via a public Wi-Fi network. A VPN uses encryption protocols to encrypt your traffic and then re-route it via highly secure channels. Besides, a VPN gives you an entirely unique IP address that may not be related to your actual location. Therefore, when you connect to the internet via a VPN service, you become an entirely unknown entity as other parties cannot access your IP address or unmask your real identity.
The essence of using a VPN when you are on a public Wi-Fi network is that a VPN helps to protect you from all the risks that characterise public Wi-Fi networks. For example, if you are using a VPN, hackers cannot easily launch a Man in the Middle type of attack against you. More so, a VPN helps to protect you from all manner of attacks that hackers carry out against public Wi-Fi networks by exploiting vulnerabilities in the networks.
Also, a VPN will protect you from malware attacks. Some individuals who spread malware take advantage of security weaknesses in public Wi-Fi networks to hijack different devices and enslave them in a network that spreads malware. However, a VPN can protect you from this risk.
In conclusion, you need to use a VPN service when you are on public Wi-Fi networks to protect yourself against many security risks. A VPN makes you anonymous, encrypts all your traffic and channels the encrypted traffic via secure channels. By encrypting, re-routing and hiding your traffic, a VPN helps to protect you against all the common risks of public Wi-Fi networks.