Alert Soccer Fans! Use a VPN to Secure Public Wi-Fi Access
The FIFA World Cup is one of the most popular sporting events in the world. As a soccer fan, if you are visiting Russia to catch the thrilling moments of the FIFA championship live, beware of public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Wi-Fi security has always been a major security concern of Internet users across the globe. And, although there have been studies conducted to increase the awareness of the security risks associated with public Wi-Fi, users still don't seem to have any serious concerns.
In fact, according to a survey sponsored by privatewifi.com, a whopping 39% of Americans still access their sensitive information on public Wi-Fi.
Regardless, in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup 2018, new research by Kaspersky Labs has surfaced, revealing that over 7,000 public Wi-Fi networks in the host cities are vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Kaspersky Lab Reports Findings
Earlier this month, just before the start of the FIFA championship, Kaspersky Labs published a detailed report warning people living in or traveling to Russia about the Wi-Fi security concerns there.
The report reveals that over 20% of the public Wi-Fi in the host cities are completely unsecure. Those Wi-Fi access points are using non-encrypted Internet traffic which puts unsuspecting users' privacy at a serious risk.
A senior security researcher at Kaspersky said, "The lack of traffic encryption, coupled with large-scale events -- like the FIFA World Cup -- make wireless Wi-Fi networks a target for criminals who want easy access to user data."
In fact, the report further highlights that out of the 11 host cities, 3 cities have the highest number of unsecure public Wi-Fi networks namely Rostov, Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg.
The security researchers have said that a cybercriminal or hacker would only need to be near the unsecure Wi-Fi access point to intercept the connection and compromise a device and the data on it.
Public Wi-Fi Risks
The major issue with public Wi-Fi is that these networks are exposed to various cybersecurity risks. There are a number of different tactics that cybercriminals can use to compromise your privacy and data.
Following are the most common security concerns related to public Wi-Fi:
- Malicious Network: Have you ever heard about rogue access points? Cybercriminals are good at impersonating others. Likewise, they are also good at creating rogue networks via their device and give a legitimate name to the connection, making it appear genuine to unsuspecting users.
- Snooping: There are, in fact, free tools available on the Internet that can allow cybercriminals to intercept any unsecure Wi-Fi connection and spy in on the activities of the users connected to it.
- MITM Attack: You can say that MITM (Men in the Middle) attack is somewhat similar to snooping in that it allows the cybercriminal to eavesdrop on the traffic transmitting between a user's device and the Internet server it is connected to.
- Malware Attack: The problem with a malware attack is that you can never know if your device has been infected with a malware or not. Here, the attacker uses tools to find security vulnerabilities in your device to exploit and infect your device with a malware.
How PureVPN Ensures Wi-Fi Security
Wi-Fi security is a serious concern and, unfortunately, it is not limited to any specific country or a region. However, there is an effective way through which users can easily secure their devices even on a public Wi-Fi and that is through a VPN.
A VPN, Virtual Private Network, is a service developed to anonymize and secure the network traffic of any device. The VPN creates an encrypted tunnel that uses a 256-bit encryption algorithm which secures all the traffic that flows through it.
So, even when you connect to an unsecure Wi-Fi all your internet traffic will be secured due to the encryption enforced by the VPN connection.
PureVPN is one of the leading VPN services that promises to deliver highest level of security and anonymity to users around the globe. With PureVPN connected, you can rest assured about the protection of your financial transactions, private communications, etc. The VPN service covers 180+ locations across the globe, having 750+ advanced VPN servers that are optimized for optimal security, speed and performance.
Joining an unsecure public Wi-Fi is like walking on a street carrying a sign with your social security number written on it. Therefore, it is imperative that we stop putting our privacy at risk and start taking immediate measures to safeguard our data and privacy.