In a hyperconnected society as we live in, it is extremely difficult to keep our privacy on the net . Every day we discover new threats, methods of attack or different techniques whose only purpose is to harm the end user.
In spite of this, each and every one of us must be aware of the dangers of staying connected to the Internet for practically all day, every day of the week , and carrying out different measures in order to avoid being infected by These kinds of threats.
We have already explained to you on more than one occasion how to keep our Android smartphone or tablet safe from hackers in a simple way , besides giving some advice to create the perfect password . However, today we come to warn about a bad practice that we have all done, and that can endanger the personal information stored on our smartphone or tablet: connect the mobile to a public Wi-Fi network.
The dangers of connecting to a public Wi-Fi network
More and more public or open Wi-Fi networks , which do not need access credentials to establish a connection, are more abundant . Airports, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centers … are just some of the places where we can find this type of networks, whose security, on many occasions, leaves much to be desired.
Sniffing and Snooping, threats that endanger your data
Before going into detail, it is necessary to review what a Wi-Fi network is and how it works at the technical level – but not too much, we do not want to bore you. Wi-Fi technology is a type of wireless local area network , which allows you to exchange data between devices using waves, and these can also connect to the Internet thanks to an access point. Typically, all data transmissions between our smartphone, tablet or computer, and the access point, are encrypted using a PSK-type key .
And right here lies the problem of public Wi-Fi networks. Since everyone is able to connect to the same network, some other advanced user capable of decrypting the PSK key – if there was one – could “listen” to the transmissions between a particular device and the access point in order to Intercept the data and transmitted information . This technique is called Sniffing or Snooping , as pointed out by Norton experts.
Beware of fake networks
On the other hand, one of the main risks when connecting to a Wi-Fi network is that, at first, we will not be sure who the creator and administrator of that network is .
For example, if we are in an airport, we may find two different open networks, under the names “TuAerolínea1” and “TuAerolínea_1”, and that one is the true one, created by the own staff responsible for the airport, while The other would be a simple Wi-Fi access point created by a user with the intention of obtaining information and data , coming from those confused people who connect.
My mobile connects only to open Wi-Fi networks, what do I do?
Disable the option, that’s easy . By default, Android has an activated setting that notifies us of the existence of an open Wi-Fi network whenever it is discovered, and in some cases, it gets to connect without the user having to intervene in the process.
Luckily, this option can be easily disabled from the system settings in the Wireless / Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi Setup section, as you can see in the image on these lines.
What if I need to connect to a public Wi-Fi network?
Although avoiding connecting to a network of these characteristics is the ultimate measure to remain safe from threats, we have all experienced some situation in which we need to connect to the Internet yes or yes , even for a short time.
In this case, we can carry out some measure to avoid falling into the clutches of these users with bad intentions . Among them, we recommend the following:
- Before connecting, ask a worker or site manager what the correct Wi-Fi network is .
- Avoid logging on pages without the HTTPS protocol, and above all, do not enter sensitive credentials such as bank details or credit card numbers.
- Avoid downloading files while we remain connected to an open network.
And you, do you usually connect to public Wi-Fi networks?