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It has become almost second nature – Surfing on the Wi-Fi network. However, while connecting to a wireless network can hold hidden risks, more than a third of the users do not take any caution when connecting.
It is easy to connect to the network. Alongside cellular networks and broadband Internet communications, usually there is at least one wireless access point to which you can connect mobile devices and computers.
However, many of these access points are saving costs when it comes to the users operation safeguards – many of whom are unaware of it or are not bothered by the possible problems that may be caused by the lack of security. Many users do not take special measures to protect browsing activity when connected to a wireless access point, and some even commit acts of purchasing or banking activities using the closest network. Most users do not even bother to take the time and check the encryption level of each access point.
Is taking extra care when using Wi-Fi network is a public sense, or is it unnecessary hassle? Well, it is only you, the site and the man in the middle. You never know what “the man with laptop at the table next to” might do. Perhaps , like you, he checks his e-mails or chats with friends. But maybe he monitors the web traffic of all those around him – including yours. “man in the middle” attack makes this scenario possible – Every Wi-Fi connection is a window to the Internet for all the devices connected to it. All outgoing requests go through the access point, and only then proceed to the visited sites. Without encryption of the communication between users and access points, this is an easy task for a network hacker that can intercept any data you transmit. This may include information that is sent to the bank or shop online. Moreover, such attacks are possible even when the access point is password protected and when there is a secure HTTPS connection between the site and the user’s browser.
What information network hackers are interested in? Anything which they can use to gain profit – especially passwords to e-mail accounts, banking, payment services and social networks.
So, it is clear that we need to secure the Wi-Fi connection, but how?
The recommendation is to use only a secure connection to the access point. This alone will reduce significantly the risk of interception by traffic hackers. However, when planning to use sites that require personal information such as user name and password, it is recommended to add a reliable security product to this basic security measure.