Unsecured public Wi-Fi is everywhere; most restaurants, airports, malls, and coffee shops offer your device a free connection while you shop, travel, or drink copious quantities of caffeine to power your day. Sometimes, public Wi-Fi networks are a user's only option, despite the risky nature of its "unsecure" status. But connecting your laptop or smartphone on public Wi-Fi can be problematic for many reasons, which typically fall under one of two categories: Security and Access.
Connect to the public Wi-Fi and you open the way for opportunistic hackers or eavesdroppers to acquire your data, and the following information becomes exposed:
- Your IP address
- Your geolocation
- The websites you visit
- Your personal communications, such as emails and chats
- Files and documents you send
- Your passwords and other sensitive information
Snoops and network providers collect your data for various sundry reasons; sale to advertisers, identity theft, scams, and using your connection to perform crimes online are foremost among them. It's vital to use a VPN anytime you connect on public Wi-Fi hotspots so you can reduce the risk of your valuable information falling into the wrong hands. A VPN encrypts your Internet connection. This layer of privacy and security is important when using unsecured Wi-Fi connections because it ensures your safety and protects your activity on these networks. Nobody can see what you're doing online when you connect to a reliable VPN, so your personal information, data, and communications are always safe.
Access to your favorite websites can become limited or non-existent on public Wi-Fi, as well. Depending on the business hosting your connection, anything from adult-oriented websites to simple social media or streaming services could be blocked on public Wi-Fi due to Internet Censorship.
However, content restrictions only matter when the network you use can monitor and control your connection. A VPN will provide you with an IP address from their private server which does not impose such constraints on the content you want to view; and because VPNs bypass congested ISP networks, you will often find your adventures online are delivered at a much faster speed than your fellow coffee house patrons or frequent flyers.
Public Wi-Fi is a convenient resource for users all over the world that isn't going away anytime soon, and neither are the risks. The next time you find yourself on the train and need to check for that important email, secure your connection with a reliable VPN such as VyprVPN before you launch your browser.
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