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SMARTPHONE owners have been warned about unsafe public Wi-Fi networks that can hack your data.

Google has shined a light on hackers running rampant on public Wi-Fi to target unsuspecting iPhone and Android users.


Public Wi-Fi can lack the necessary security measures and encryption needed to protect a smartphone user’s data.

And in some cases, public networks are set up intentionally by cybercriminals to attract potential victims.

“Be careful about using public or free Wi-Fi, even if it requires a password,” Google writes on its safety page.

“These networks may not be encrypted, so when you connect to a public network, anyone in the vicinity may be able to monitor your internet activity,” it continued.


How can this happen?

Threat actors can use a number of methods to target a smartphone user over public Wi-Fi.

For starters, they can attempt a ‘man-in-the-middle’ (MITM) attack, which is when a malicious third-party intercepts communications between two participants to steal data.


Hackers might also try a ‘packet sniffing’ attack, in which a hacker acquires airborne information accessed via Wi-Fi.

Details that a hacker can obtain over public Wi-Fi include email login, bank details, personal photos and videos, and home address.


How to protect yourself

In order to protect yourself while using free, public Wi-Fi, experts advise using a VPN.

A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, allowing users to safely share and receive data without the prying eyes of nefarious third parties.

A VPN network works by scrambling your personal information so that without the correct decryption key, it can’t be read by hackers.

Google noted that using Chrome’s web browser can help you identify when a network isn’t secure.


Source: The Sun

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