Saying that the internet took the world by storm would be an understatement. In essence, now a big part of your life is the internet. The web has improved, altered, and otherwise affected everything that surrounds us. Our social life, education, entertainment, and even business have been transformed by rapidly improving IT.
While we can sit around all day and debate the benefits and flaws of the web, the internet has primarily revolutionized our lives for the better. It can, however, be a double-edged sword if we do not use it properly.
The online world poses many unique threats, and we must learn to mitigate them to surf the web safely. From danger to kids and our mental health to more immediate threats to our privacy and security, the web can be a hostile environment, even without you realizing it.
What makes the web great is not only its convenience but also its accessibility. Everyone can start using the benefits of the internet in a blink of an eye. Even if you don’t have mobile data, free Wi-fi is always around the corner. Because there are so many internet-related attractions that keep us glued to our devices, a stable connection to a modern user is like honey to the bee.
Most internet users rejoice at discovering free Wi-Fi and never think about the risks of connecting to public networks. In this article, we will discuss necessary safety precautions that will help you preserve your privacy and anonymity. We’ll talk about the reasons internet users buy proxies or other tools that minimize digital footprinting and help ensure online safety. Click here if you are interested in proxy servers. For now, let’s introduce the risks of public networks and gloss over other security threats.
Can you really trust a public network?
This should be a great warning for all of you who love working in cafes, libraries, and other public areas. With so many free wi-fi sources, internet users send data packets containing sensitive information. The third parties behind these public networks can take a peek at this data. Even if you trust the provider, cybercriminal attacks may lead to data theft and the destruction of your livelihood.
Thankfully, a lot of security concerns related to wi-fi connections are in the past. Today, transport layer security (TSL) encrypts information transmitted through our browsers. A constant push to improve user security has encouraged more and more websites to use encryption to preserve data safety and anonymity. Internet users that also buy proxies to protect personal information can protect their online safety even easier.
However, as far as TSL goes, it should never create a false sense of invincibility. As we mentioned before, the most dangerous attacks happen due to man-in-the-middle interference. Without enough information about the safety of a public network, encryption won’t make much of a difference.
Also, TSL still has many gaps that leave your data vulnerable. Most of the uploaded files will remain unprotected, and even encrypted data can be partially uncovered by smart cybercriminals. Sometimes the websites themselves do a poor job to protect data transmission.
Browsers in mobile devices, or worse – phone apps provide an even lesser degree of safety. When using them, internet users can give up much more data than anticipated. In such cases, mobile data is a much safer choice of internet connection.
How a wi-fi can track your location
Location tracking may not be a devastating invasion of privacy, but it is still a cause for concern. Even if you trust the network and abundance of potential connection may ask users to sign in to limit overcrowding and increase security. However, while the hackers may have a tougher time at getting their hands on your data, third parties that operate these networks shouldn’t always be trusted. The registrations to these networks may ask users to fill out a form that gives up plenty of information in exchange for a connection.
While the given-up information may not pose a threat to your safety, it can certainly undermine your privacy and anonymity. Third parties use it to track user location, browsing habits and accumulate other information to sell it to advertisers.
Some web surfers buy proxies to limit their digital footprint but staying aware of the data you give up is the best way to preserve your online safety. Although it might be boring, that is why reading the terms and conditions is so important. Third parties that operate these wi-fi networks deliberately emphasize their “freeness” to attract new users, but they still have to pay the price with their data.
If you stay aware and informed about the information aggregation performed by these third parties, you can even discover ways to opt out of data collection. Minimizing exposure will help you preserve online safety.
The best tools that protect anonymity
Tech-savvy Internet users that love to work in public areas buy proxies or VPNs to protect data transmission. We also recommend avoiding websites that do not support TSL to avoid further data exposure. If you still feel unsafe on a public network, do not upload sensitive files that will not be sufficiently protected by encryption. If you believe that none of the public wi-fi’s are safe, stay cautious and do not use them.
Constantly available wi-fi networks have transformed the internet into a beast we know and love today. Because it is always available at our fingertips, and the abundance of connections creates many opportunities that make our lives that much easier. Even if public wi-fi has some security flaws, close attention to online safety helps us find ways to protect ourselves and push for further advancements. Stay aware of potential threats and you will preserve your privacy and anonymity.