Your personal data is vulnerable on 25% of the WiFi hotspots you join.
Amazingly, this statistic is true. One in four Wi-Fi hotspots are vulnerable to hackers who want to steal your personal data.If you use one of these connections, hackers could steal all your personal texts, documents, and passwords from your smartphone quicker than you can open up Snapchat.
Oh, and all those photos of your dog, too.
The problem is, public Wi-Fi hotspots just aren't that safe. Use one and your personal data is at risk. Plus, hackers could steal your credit card details and spend your hard-earned cash.
In this post, we’ll cover:
Here's the thing: public Wi-Fi isn't very secure. That's why hackers love it. Public Wi-Fi connects to open, unencrypted networks, so cybercriminals can access your personal information.
When you connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot in a coffee shop or train station, attackers can exploit security flaws in the router and get access to all your files, folders and documents.
It happens every single day. It's happening right now.
Do you really want hackers reading your personal texts and emails? Or stealing your credit card details? Nobody does. It's no wonder, then, that 60% of people think that using public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a public restroom.
You'll probably think twice the next time you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot. A lot of people do. Thirty-two percent of online users feel "somewhat unsafe" when using public Wi-Fi, and 7% feel "very unsafe."
What's the solution?
You might have heard of a VPN before. It stands for "virtual private network" but, don't worry, it's a lot less complicated than it sounds.
Basically, a VPN is a connection method that safeguards your data when you connect to shared or public networks. Think of as a shield that stops criminals from attacking you. It's like kryptonite to hackers.
Hotspot Shield, a popular VPN app, describes it this way: “Virtually anyone with the tools and know-how, including governments and businesses, can see what you’re doing, track when you do it, and where you do it from.”
VPNs use encryption technologies to create a "virtual tunnel" between your device and a VPN server. Essentially, your activity and information can’t be seen by virtual spies.
VPNs haven't really caught on in the United States… yet. They're popular in other countries, though. Thirty-eight percent of all internet users in Indonesia use a VPN, for example.
But this is all going to change soon.
Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about their online safety. In fact, more people worry about data protection than they do about their personal income, according to one study.
You can see why, though. Nobody wants their personal photos and credit card details posted on the internet.
This is where a good VPN comes in. When you connect to a public network, a VPN encrypts your data. Your information becomes gobbledygook to hackers. This means that nobody can see your photos, texts, and financial details.
We know what you're thinking: Isn't this all really complicated? Won't a VPN just slow down your smartphone? Well, not if you choose the right VPN. The right VPN...
Every single Android and iPhone user who connects to a public Wi-Fi hotspot needs a VPN. It's as simple as that.
VPNs aren't just great for protecting you from hackers. They stop a wide range of companies and miscreants from spying on you, too.
Did you know that your internet service provider (ISP) makes a note of every single website you visit? Or that they can share all this information with other companies?
Some ISPs even sell all your personal data to advertisers. Scary, right?
Right now, your ISP knows exactly where you are and what you're looking at online.V PNs provide you with the data protection you need. These connections mask your IP address and replace it with a different one, making it more difficult for people to track you online.
Don't worry, this is all completely legal. You see, you have a right to data privacy, and VPNs protect that right.
"Remember how your browser's private browsing mode only kept traces of your activity off your computer? A VPN can actually keep your ISP (and cybercriminals and would-be eavesdroppers) in the dark about what you're doing," - Forbes Magazine
Sorry to frighten you, but It's not just ISPs that spy on you. Every time you download an app on your phone or access a website, companies usually know your physical location and track this information for marketing and analysis purposes. VPNs, however, will protect your personal information across various websites, apps, and browsers.
So, let's summarize. VPN stands for "virtual private network," and it's a must-have if you surf the internet through a public WI-Fi hotspot. It prevents hackers from stealing your personal data and information, giving you the peace mind you need. So far, so good.
A VPN also improves data security by masking your IP address and physical location. This prevents ISPs and other companies from spying on you.
If you care about your personal data, using a VPN could be one of the best things you do this year.