What Makes an Internet Connection Insecure and Why?

internet connection

TechsPlace | The popularity of Wi-Fi has increased exponentially, mainly because of the ease of integration for connectivity between devices and the internet connection. Wi-Fi networks are more convenient and cost-effective than cable or other networks. With a wireless network installed, you no longer have to connect any wires to your computer or smartphone in order to access the internet. Wireless connectivity also leads to increased productivity because you can easily access the internet whenever you need to work.

But, to truly enjoy uninterrupted internet service, you need to get your internet package from a service provider that delivers reliable service that is capable of providing a fast internet connection. There are several companies like Frontier FiOS which provide the best internet service in the United States as they offer a great value-based high-speed internet service to their customers. Plus, you can also connect all your devices to the internet simultaneously without experiencing any speed related issues and these blazing-fast speeds provide a better experience for communicating with your friends and family.

Although wireless networks are now being offered at almost every store, restaurant, hotel and shop, but is it safe to use these open wireless networks?

Not really. It’s true that people are often attracted to free things, be it a free beverage or a Wi-Fi connection, but just because they’re free doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous sometimes.

Free/Public Wireless Connections

Wi-Fi connections at public places are open networks which means they are not protected by any password or special log-in credentials, meaning anybody can use the internet. When you connect your smartphone or laptop to these open networks, your online activity is being monitored by a third-party which makes these connections completely unsafe to use. Moreover, hackers are always looking for opportunities to hack into devices to steal data and open connections are the easiest way to hack into someone else’s computer.

Never Share Personal Information over Public Wi-Fi

No matter how important it is for you to complete an online transaction, never use an online banking account on a public network. For obvious reasons, this information is very sensitive and if it gets stolen you’ll suffer some serious financial damages. So, it’s always better to wait for a secure system when personal or financial information will be displayed rather than getting online through an unprotected wireless network.

Are All Wi-Fi Connections Insecure?

No, all wireless connections are not insecure. Some shops or restaurants protect their Wi-Fi networks with a password because it’s not for general public use. However, customers can ask for the Wi-Fi password to connect their smartphones or laptops to the internet. So, it’s always better to use your own network to avoid the problems that may arise from online threats.

What are the most common threats?

There are countless threats on the internet, and with billions of users accessing the internet around the globe, there is a dark side to this ever-growing virtual global village. Your computer might become a botnet because you visit shady websites. Botnets send spam email to different email addresses from your account that contain virus attachments and potentially harmful malware that can affect other systems. A DDOS attack is a pretty common attack in which programmer’s will program computers to attack a specific website again and again. This could be your website or a website you regularly use. These attacks cause unnecessary traffic which will result in a crash of the application. If you’re using a unsecured website, your computer could be used to transfer data to various websites.

The most common and dangerous of all online threats is hacking. Hackers can take control of your entire system and control it to do whatever they please, like access your personal information. Hackers can download themselves on to your computer through third-party applications that you downloaded from an unsafe website. Malware is another type of common threat that turns the internet into a minefield and an unsafe place to travel. Malware will cause viruses to attach themselves to your system, which will most commonly prompt error messages, deleting all data, reformatting drives and even sending emails from your personal accounts.

A new threat that has recently emerged on the internet is a threat called pharming, which works by redirecting you to fake websites that look identical to legitimate sites and trick you into entering your personal data. Phishing is another common internet threat which occurs when you log in through social media/personal applications that already have your data and will steal the data by posing through fake looking pages. Ransomware is a tricky internet threat that gets installed on your system through malicious websites and it prevents you from accessing your own data on your system by locking it. To unlock it, it requires you to pay. Some of the pop-ups are used to scare the user into paying.

Spyware and Adware are internet parasites that basically install themselves into apps without asking for your permission and then make changes to your system which slow it down. Usually, they’re attached with free downloads. Something most internet users find formidable is the Trojan horse virus, which can be used to watch you through your own webcam. Out of safety, suspicious users cover their webcams.

Can you figure out if a virus is on your computer?

Prevention is key, but the internet has its ways. Finding out in some instances may be hard, but in others, it may be very obvious. Your computer may start operating oddly, like shutting down or restarting by itself. It might become very slow and the performance may be affected. You may have to constantly alter your default home page on your browser because Adware can reroute your default browser to the website of its choice. Files, even back up files in ‘secure’ folders may start disappearing.

Final Advice:

Being well-educated and having in-depth knowledge about the potential risks when using an open network never hurts. Stay up to date regarding threats that can harm your computer and learn how to deal with all viruses and malicious threats. It’s important to have your security suites updated regularly to guard your personal information. Firewalls, which are the gatekeeper between your computer and the outside world, should be installed. Do not open emails you suspect are spam. Do not download applications from websites you don’t know. Check your computer if it starts lagging or slowing down all of the sudden. And keep all applications installed with the latest updates.