Smartphones and tablets have become more affordable in recent years and the amount of public WiFi hotspots available has also increased considerably. This means that it is very easy to connect to the internet when you are on the go. It is possible to find free WiFi in coffee shops, hotels, airports, public transport and more. Being able to get online for free and anywhere is very convenient but it can also turn you into an easy target for cyber criminals. The truth is that the security of public WiFi hotspots is low or non existent and if someone around you has the minimum knowledge and tools required (and is trying to get access to your data), they will find a way to intercept your connection.
When you connect to the internet using public WiFi hotspots you are more vulnerable to security threats like Firesheep. This add-on for Firefox uses a packet sniffer that enables hacking and it doesn’t even require advanced technical knowledge. While Firesheep doesn’t get access to the login credentials that you use for you online accounts, it can intercept cookies from Twitter, Facebook and other popular websites. This facilitates access to your current session meaning that other will see the website as you do, allowing them to gather your personal information and even post or change your password.
Packet sniffers like Firesheep are not the only risk that you may face when you connect to internet using public WiFi hotspots. Fraudsters know that these networks are widely used and also weak in terms of security. They can set up a fake mobile hotspot hoping to get people to access it and they even use a name that makes it seem like the actual WiFi hotspot that you are trying to connect to. For instance if you are in a coffee shop, they could set up a hotspot simple called Coffee Shop Open WiFi or they may use the name of the place. When you try to connect, you may see two similar options but may end up connecting to the fake one, giving them access to your data. This is known as evil twin hotspots and is another way in which your privacy may be compromised.
To make things worse, once they manage to intercept your connection, cyber criminals may try to obtain your financial information by tricking you into paying for a service. Once you enter your card details, they will be able to steal your information. Although there are many dangers lurking on public WiFi hotspots, the reality is that they are very convenient and there may be cases in which they are your only option to connect to the internet. Thankfully, you don’t need to avoid public WiFi altogether because a VPN will allow you to secure your connection and protect your data with encryption. This will prevent online fraudsters from stealing your personal information.
Here you will find VPN services that offer a strong level of security and high quality mobile apps for privacy on the go.
ExpressVPN is a leading provider in the VPN industry due to its fast and highly secure service. The software is easy to use and features a great selection of features that enhance the security of your connection, even when you use public WiFi hotspots. They support a variety of protocols including OpenVPN, which is the most secure and reliable. Whenever possible, make sure that you use this protocol. If it is not available you can try L2TP/IPSec or SSTP, but avoid PPTP as it is the weakest option. ExpressVPN offers top encryption and great mobile apps.
Buffered is a Hungarian provider that has built a strong reputation as a reliable and secure solution to keep your data protected from the threats that lurk on Public WiFi hotspots. They have high quality software that is also user-friendly and they apply a fantastic layer of security to safeguard your data. Buffered stands out for its WiFi busting firewall feature, which lets you detect open ports in a protected WiFi network, so that any payment system on that network can be bypassed.
PureVPN has an impressive network of servers and its global coverage is way above the average. You can connect to servers in 141 countries, but that is not the only benefit of using PureVPN. The provider also applies a high level of protection for your online data and it offers great software for all major platforms. You will be able to connect to public WiFi hotspots on your laptop, tablet or smartphone, knowing that your online activities remain private and that your information is safe.
The security features that VPNArea offers are a big reason for choosing this provider to protect your connection when you use public WiFi hotspots. You get kill switch, protection against DNS leaks and IPv6 leaks, and even a feature that protects your from issues with WebRTC, which could reveal you real IP address. In addition, VPNArea offers a high level of encryption, easy to use software and servers in 60 countries.
Private Internet Access
PIA is very popular and it has maintained a high place in the VPN industry thanks to its affordability and security. PIA offers great value for money and the service is fast, effective and easy to use. At the moment, they only cover 25 countries which may seem limited when compared to other providers’ global coverage. However, PIA has over 3,200 servers so you can easily find an option that suits you. PIA secures your online traffic with strong encryption and allows up to five simultaneous connections.