How Open WiFi Networks Can Compromise Your Security

These days nearly everywhere one can find a free or open WiFi network, it may seem like a great facility at first to be able to surf the net for free but after taking a closer look you may not be so eager to use the free internet.

There is always a catch with things are too good to be true and the same applies for free WiFi networks. Your security is greatly at risk in such environments.

One problem is that you don’t know who else is on the network with you, secondly you don’t know what the person’s motive is who created the free or open network in the first place.

Your files can easily be manipulated, stolen or damaged by the person who has created and allowed you access to the free WiFi network, and other people that maybe on the network with you can also quite easily spy on you and your activity while you’re connected.

How Can My Security Be Compromised??

Once you have connected to an open WiFi network, your device together with all the other computers on that network are in fact connected to a main computer (server) which has put the network out in the first place.

WiFi Security (image by Cloned Milkmen)
WiFi Security (image by Cloned Milkmen)

This main computer does have access to all the other computers that are using the network, all that is required for the main computer to see what you are up to on the network, is software such as Wireshark.

Wireshark allows one computer to access all data that is being transmitted to and from the connected device. The degree to which your information is secure and kept safe online is dependent on the site you’re browsing and how safe that site wishes to keep your information.

For example if you are surfing an unsecured site, any data which is transmitted between your computer and that site can be viewed by a third party with the use of softwares like Firesheep.

It would be a good idea to review which information of yours is shared and can be viewed by others, as not every site has the same security and some sites and networks don’t have much security at all.

How Easy Or Difficult Is It To Spy Me??

For a network administrator to get a piece of malware of possible PC spyware, on to your connected device isn’t a very complex or difficult task at all.

A problem seen in many networks is that people can be redirected. For example, you search on some site but end up at another, which is full of ads and is definitely not what you are looking for.

Open WiFi can be used to spy you

Even sites that you would consider credible, like Google or Yahoo, could in fact have ads on them which are links to spyware and clicking on them would get your computer infected with PC spyware automatically.

PC Pandora 7.0 is a prime example of software which, if on your computer, can do plenty of harm. It is a covert piece of code which lies hidden in your computer & is very difficult to trace.

This software can provide the installer with a lot of information from your computer, like screen shots and login credentials as it also acts a keystroke logger among its many other features. It’s a Spy’s paradise…

This software and its likes are the sort of things that can infect you through a public WiFi network, and these malwares still keep working even  when you have left the free WiFi environment.

About The Author: Natalia David contributes towards Computer monitoring software and keylogger technology. She provides tips, tricks and news about computer and internet security. You can also follow her on Twitter @NataliaDavid4.