The main threats when using a public Wifi network

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The ESET

Computer security company, which has repeatedly detected various malware that could affect electronic devices such as cell phones and computers, performed an analysis describing several of the threats that may be found behind public Wi-Fi networks.

“If we only stopped a few minutes to think about how safe public connections are, we would quickly find several reasons to give a negative response to their access,” said Camilo Gutierrez, Head of the ESET Latin America Laboratory.

“If when we visit a public place we don’t leave our belongings anywhere, because we know the risks of doing so, why would we do it with the information stored on our devices?”

This is how the company points out that, by connecting to this type of network, the user can be reached by what is known as a Man in the middle attack, which consists of a maneuver in which an intermediary Between the user and the site he wants to visit, he manages to intercept the data “while traveling”.

According to ESET

They are “highly effective and very difficult to detect attacks, since the information is intercepted without being perceived.” Likewise, an unsecured network can also leave user data too exposed without the need for an intermediary, resulting in strangers accessing personal files or passwords.

Another of the most common risks is through online transactions, since, according to specialists, there are many users who continue to make purchases and transfers entering Homebanking connected to the Wifi network of a coffee, hotel or airport.

Regardless of what devices the connection is from, the use of a public network always represents a risk to perform any action that involves some private data, because there is no knowledge if someone is intercepting the traffic.

Finally, the other threat listed by Eset, are the false access points that are presented as networks without a key, because sometimes a public network can be cloned and when connecting all the connection packets that enter and exit, will pass through the attacking team , who can see and modify everything at will.

That is why the company makes a series of recommendations to prevent data theft in a public Wi-Fi network, such as installing antivirus on all devices, including mobile phones; never make online transactions from public networks, and always prefer sites that use the HTTPS protocol instead of just HTTP. Which guarantees an encrypted transmission of data between the user and the site.

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