FREE wi-fi at your local coffee shop may sound appealing but there might be hidden threats lurking in the background.
With so many unsuspecting people accessing one network at a time, public wi-fi is a juicy feast for hackers.
Think again before using free public wi-fiCredit: Getty
Among the most common threats is the so-called ‘man in the middle’ attack, which is basically a type of eavesdropping where fraudsters can see what is being transmitted between you and websites.
Free public wi-fi can be a hotbed for spreading viruses, while unencrypted networks can also pose a danger.
But there is a way that can help make things a lot safer, and that’s by using a VPN.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.
It’s an encrypted connection so any data is kept away from prying eyes.
This is done by creating a sort of data tunnel between the network you’re connected to and an exit space in another location.
The exit might be located thousands of miles away, tricking the system into thinking you’re in another place entirely, making it ideal for privacy.
There are several VPN app options about for both iPhone and Android devices.
The only snag is that the best ones aren’t free.
And you’ll probably want to pay for one to get a decent speed.
Among the most popular is NordVPN, which starts from £2.59 per month for a 2-year subscription.
Surfshark is another with plans for £1.83 per – it was recently bought out by NordVPN but the company plans to keep the two separate.
ExpressVPN has previously received good reviews but it too has changed hands, which has concerned some.
Last year, Kape Technologies – which already owns CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate – announced it was buying the app.
However, the company has been associated with adware in the past under its old name Crossrider, according to CNET.
Kape says that 0% of revenue comes from ad serving today.
NordVPN is among the favourite VPNs out thereCredit: NordVPN
In other news, the naughtiest emoji combinations have been revealed.
Tinder has revived the classic ‘blind date’ experience with a virtual twist.
And TikTok has announced new rules, banning users who deadname or misgender others.
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