A recent survey showed that 71% of tablet owners and 55% of smartphone users used a public WiFi. Data sent through public WiFi can easily be intercepted and read out.
If you are using a mobile device, tablet or laptop on a public WiFi you are at risk loosing security of your personal information (banking, emails, etc.).
In this blog post I will show you how you stay safe on public WiFis.
What is the use of a VPN while connecting to a public network or a WIFI network?
A VPN is a useful way to maintain a user’s online privacy and security while using a public network, or a Virtual Private Networks have been in the news a lot lately. In its early days, there was the shocking news that Apple had removed VPNs from the Chinese App Store, and more recently in October, it turned out that VPNs were an effective safeguard against the worrying Krack Wi-Fi vulnerability.
So, when a user will access the internet without a VPN, his computer connection is basically ‘exposed’, as it were. A user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see what content he is accessing over the internet that includes streaming sites, torrents, and games. But when a user connects to a VPN connection the server acts as an intermediary between his computer and the web.
So, to put it in a simple way, a user can send a request to the VPN, then that VPN will send a request to the server where the content is hosted and then the process runs in reverse. However, because the VPN is between a user and the content, his ISP will only see him accessing that VPN, as a result, it won’t see his internet activity.
Besides acting as an intermediary, VPNs protect the users in two other types like; they encrypt a user’s internet traffic and grant him a new IP address, so his real IP will hidden. Even with all the publicity, there are plenty of people who still don’t know what a VPN is and how to use it, the name alone can seem strange and conceptual to the average consumer. However, using a VPN couldn’t be simpler. So, the users can take a quick look at how the software works and why it’s an essential tool for their digital life.
How is a VPN useful for You when You are connecting to a WIFI network?
It would be ideal to use a good VPN connection that can actually work on connecting the user’s device to the web. The thing with public WiFi connections is that a user has no means of knowing which networks are really secure. But it is sure that, a user can steer clear of networks that don’t require a password, but that’s still not a guarantee that their data is safe. So, the users have to face it, that even the large business and hospitality networks aren’t completely safe.
Not only the hackers can crack them, but they can also be infected with malware and other viruses. Some hackers have actually gotten quite crafty like many of them have started creating their own fake public WiFi hotspots. Unfortunately, as most of the users are in a hurry nowadays, they don’t even do a thorough inspection of the network before connecting to it. As a result, it’s easy to get a user’s data and to steal because they just weren’t careful enough while using any WIFI network in a public place.
Well, as discussed in the above lines, using a VPN and an antivirus program means a user won’t face such huge security risks. So it is definite that, the users should still double-check a public WiFi network before connecting to it, but at least their data will be safe behind the top of the line encryption regardless of the outcome.
Explain about the facilities offered by a VPN provider:
On a basic level, encryption involves using advanced mathematics to make a user’s data unreadable to third-parties; it will look like waste to everyone other than the user and that VPN which is used by him. In fact, a VPN can hide a user’s internet traffic not just from their ISP, but also from anyone else on the same Wi-Fi network as the user. That makes VPNs a necessary tool on public Wi-Fi in places like cafes or libraries, and it can also grant the user a new IP address. This not only safeguards the user’s secrecy, but also widens the amount of content he can access. For example, a user can take the IP address as being like a physical address in the real world, it will tell the internet servers where to send information and content he has requested. But it provides these facilities because with a new IP address, a user can access only the known IP address of the VPN, and not the one tied to their computer.
Also, there are many content providers like Netflix and BBC iPlayer use IP addresses as a way to figure out whether or not to allow a user to access content that is limited to a particular region. By using a VPN server in a different country, one can get a foreign IP address, unlocking tons of media he might not otherwise have access to. That VPN can also cover all his internet activity, including torrent clients and games.
Some of the reasons are discussed in the below lines, why a user needs a VPN:
- Online communications have evolved from simple text-based emails to strong cross-platform messaging services like WhatsApp, Skype and Snapchat are a few of the more popular ones. The issue is that not all of these are encrypted, and therefore there’s the potential for messages to be stopped and read. Putting these messaging services through a VPN provides a higher level of security with the natural encryption, and keeps these conversations where they belong like in private.
- A VoIP is an important method which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This is the revolutionary advancement that enabled digital voice communications at a lower cost than traditional phone lines by routing calls through the internet. The downside is that now instead of tapping individual subscriber lines; VoIP calls can be obtained and analyzed in bulk. By sending these calls through a VPN, they are encrypted, and therefore require serious decryption skills to gain access to the call, making things much harder for any interference.
- Using a VPN to play an online game might seem like a poor idea on the face of it, but it does offer some advantages. For starters, there is secrecy, meaning a user can keep hi account credentials safe and secure.