Nowadays, free WiFi networks are available in abundance, and you can easily find a free WiFi network in your area. Simply by using the free hotspot, you will be able to connect to the internet without being charged the normal rate of your ISP. It is convenient, and the connection speed is usually quite fast as well. That’s why many people will spend hours in these WiFi locations just to surf the internet and enjoy their time. However, with the word “free” comes the risks to the users. If you use the free WiFi hotspots regularly without any protection for your connection, your privacy and security might be at risk.
While using a free WiFi hotspot is good as it is, you should use a VPN connection on top of the WiFi connection in order to protect your data from various possible threats. In fact, without a VPN, it is very dangerous for you to use these free WiFi networks, especially the ones that don’t have any password on it. Here are 5 reasons it is dangerous to use free WiFi without using virtual private network:
1. The Connection Is Shared With Many Other Devices
When you are connecting to a free WiFi hotspot, you are actually using a shared connection used by many other devices. In a sense, these devices are connected within one network connection, which is the same as the one that you use. The repercussion of this is that whenever a device is infected by a kind of malware, it can infect any other devices within the same network connection as well. Since the connection is not secure, it can infect your device, and cause various problems in your system. Not only that, your private data might be at risk.
2. Hackers Can Easily Penetrate Your Network
Hackers love free internet connection, because they can easily penetrate the network and take control of it easily. That’s why you might not realize that among many people that are connected to the same WiFi network as you, a hacker might sit beside you, trying to penetrate the network connection to gain control of all the devices. There are some cases where WiFi hotspots can be infected, and any device that is trying to connect to these networks gets infected as well. In other words, without any kind of private connection that you use, your device security is at risk because hackers might penetrate your network and infect your device with malware.
3. Your Browsing Activity Is Being Monitored
With the non-secured WiFi connection, which is the network connection that doesn’t require you to enter a password when trying to connect to it, there is a big chance that your browsing activity is being monitored and logged. In fact, the browsing activity of every device connected to that network is being monitored. In other words, someone might be able to see the websites that you visit, how long you visit that website, the words that you type in the web form, and so on. This gives any malicious third-party the opportunity to steal your passwords or grab your private information for their own benefits.
4. You Are At The Risk Of Browser Hijacking
Browser hijacking happens when you try to access a certain website, and then the web address automatically redirects to another website without your consent. Moreover, this other website might resemble very closely with the original website, making you believe that you are visiting a legit website, whereas you are actually visiting a fake website. Any information that you type into that fake website will be recorded. Browser hijacking can happen when you use a free network connection because hackers can easily infect any browser that is connected to that network and control it remotely.
5. There Is No Encryption Available For The Network
Lastly, when you use a free public hotspot without any VPN enabled, it means that you are browsing the internet without any encryption. Third parties can monitor the websites that you visit, your browsing habit, your typed password, your online communication, and so on. They can see your browsing history as clear as day, and they might use this information to their own benefits, and to your own disadvantages. Without any encryption system, there will be no protection in your online activity, and your security and privacy will be at risk.
Those are the 5 reasons it is dangerous to use free WiFi without using virtual private connection. It is not recommended for you to connect to the free hotspot that has no password in it, especially without any VPN connection. You should turn on your VPN software every time you connect to any WiFi hotspot, since it will give you an additional security and privacy protection in your online activity.