Cybersecurity Insight

How Using Wi-Fi Could Leave You Vulnerable to Hackers

13 Nov

We use it on a daily basis. Many of us rely on it to do our jobs or run our lives. You can find it almost anywhere. It’s a wireless Internet connection. Cutting the cord and using a wireless signal for your Internet connection is the method of choice for most users, however, there is a thin line between a secure and unsecure Internet connection that could wreak havoc on your digital life.

As many people decrease usage of utility type services at their home including cable television and in some cases Internet they seek alternatives to connect with the world. Many times that includes using a free Wi-Fi connection at a local establishment. Bars and coffee shops boast free Wi-Fi in order to attract new customers and appease their current ones. It’s become a selling point that almost no business can live without. In fact, many people actually do their daily work in these places. The problem is, using an unsecured wireless connection could be more trouble than it’s worth.

Here are several ways you could be at risk when using unsecured Wi-Fi:

Online Banking

Going to the bank is becoming a thing of the past. Many people now do their banking online including depositing checks, transferring money, or paying bills. The problem? This is easy pickin’s for a hacker if you utilize online banking on an unsecured network.

Online Shopping

Most of us have purchased something online at one time or another. Some of us use the Internet as our exclusive shopping place. If you tend to browse your favorite stores while in your local coffee shop and ultimately make a purchase, you could be giving the hacker next to you your vital credit card information. It’s always best to do your online shopping from a private, password protected network.

You Don’t Update Software

Old software is a haven for malware and hackers thrive on the fact that most people don’t keep their software up to date. Whenever you see that little message in the corner or the notification in your email it’s best to update your software, especially your security software including firewalls and even router firmware, as quickly as possible.

Using Unsecured Networks At All

If you use an unsecured network in any capacity you could be putting yourself at risk. Of course it is extremely difficult these days not to connect to an unsecured network from time to time, but if you must, make sure you’re only doing so for a little while and not doing anything of importance that includes your personal data.

Taking some simple precautions can go a long way to saving you from digital robbery. Most of us don’t think twice about the security of our Internet connections. We simply trust that whoever we are obtaining Internet from knows what they are doing. In fact, it’s mostly the opposite. Most Internet connections aren’t as secure as you would think, and even if you have a password protected network at home and the password is easy to guess, you could be setting yourself up for disaster there too.

By always using a well protected network, keeping things updated, and making sure you browse only trusted websites using SLL encryption you can save yourself a world of hurt. So go ahead, keep enjoying your cat videos and your two-day free shipping, just do it safely, please.