Travelling can be tiresome, boring, and at times sweaty and overwhelming – especially on the London Underground. Our phones and smart devices make these journeys easier. Nowadays, you need an internet connection to use most features on your phone, like Spotify. For example, Spotify requires an internet connection to play the songs unless you download them to your phone.
Plus, sitting and scrolling through Facebook or playing games makes the morning commute easier. Of course, our phones have revolutionised the way we live. Having access to the internet is arguably one of the best benefits of the modern world. That said, the internet, particularly public WIFI, can pose issues with security.
Have you ever really thought about how many other people are connected to the public hotspot? Well, first think about how many people you see on the tube, then in the station. Now let’s say half are using their own data, but half are connected to the public hotspot. You wouldn’t leave your laptop bag or belongings exposed, so why would you let a hacker get your information?
Of course, you can’t really predict if you are going to fall victim to cybercrime. However, you can put the correct precautions in place. So, in the second part of this article, we will look at how you can protect your privacy when using public WIFI in London. As mentioned, you’ll need to implement a few precautions.
Ensure You’re Secure Before Connecting
If you want to use public WIFI in London (or any location for that matter), we recommend that you have the security precautions in place. Perhaps you are not that worried about getting hacked because you don’t really use your banking when you’re on public WIFI. Well, that’s one of the misconceptions that this article hopes to address.
You might only be using public WIFI to browse Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, so you might think you are safe. However, if you log in without protection – what we mean is no VPN, no antivirus software, or poor password management, you are more likely to become a cybercrime victim. You can actually set these security measures before you leave your home.
Plus, once they are set up, you can set automatic scans, as well as putting barriers in place to stop hackers from getting into your accounts. If you don’t really want to use a VPN, at the very least, you should make sure you use antivirus, even when you’re using your mobile phone. The best way to look at all public WIFI is that it is never really safe. Therefore, you should keep reading to learn how to protect your privacy when using public networks in London.
Is Public WIFI Dangerous?
Yes, and no, it depends on how well-equipped you are, if you have the correct security measures in places like a PIA Virtual Private Network or antivirus software. Since it’s relatively easy to find public WIFI hotspots, it means it’s easy for hackers to gain access to thousands of individuals. Do you really know how risky it is to use public WIFI without protection?
Well, the possible risks include (but are not limited to):
- Malware – rogue problem that can damage/infect your phone
- Unencrypted networks – a poorly configured network means open access to hackers
- DDoS attacks – a targeted attack, usually on a large corporation
- Man-in-the-middle attacks – this is where your data is intercepted and stolen
- Snooping – your data is stolen by a hacker piggybacking on the public WIFI
How to Make Sure You’re Protected on Public WIFI in London
Once you have connected to public WIFI, you seem to forget about the precautions. Really, once you connect, it’s already too late; your information is fully open. Whereas if you implement the three tips below, you are less likely to experience cybercrime when using the public WIFI in London.
Install a VPN
We have already mentioned installing a VPN, and this is because it’s one of the most beneficial security software available. When you have a reliable service like PIA VPN, you will know that you can unlock all the benefits as well as ensuring that your devices remain secure when browsing the internet on public WIFI. A VPN can do so much; some of the benefits include:
- Masking your IP address, so your device is “hidden” in the public WIFI
- Unblock geo-restricted content (change your location) to gain access to American Netflix, for example
- Protects and encrypts your data
Implement the HTTPS Philosophy
We don’t know where this philosophy originated, but the easiest way to see if you have a secure connection is by checking the HTTP. This rule is quite simple:
HTTPS – If there is an “s” at the end of HTTPS:// then it means the network has a secure connection. HTTP – If it is just HTTP:// and it skips the “s”, then it’s an unsecured connection.
One other danger is rogue hotspots. Basically, this is where you are tricked into signing up and giving your personal information to a fake hotspot. If your phone flags up with a warning, then generally, you should follow that advice. Sometimes, people set up internet cafes in a plot to gain the customer’s information. It just shows you can never be too careful. Finally, the best way to avoid this, in our opinion, is by using a VPN on public WIFI.