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3 Seemingly Innocent Things You Should Never Do on Public Wi-Fi

by Mubi 

3 Seemingly Innocent Things You Should Never Do on Public Wi-Fi

When you’re away from home or low on data, the public Wi-Fi available in shopping centers, coffee shops, and hotels is a convenient way to hop online. But it’s not the safest.

Talented hackers know how to exploit these free hot spots, stealing your info to commit fraud and other nasty business.

Luckily, their plan only works if you share personal information on a shared connection. So, if you plan on taking advantage of free Wi-Fi, avoid the following everyday tasks and you’ll be safer.

1. Borrow Money

Disasters can happen while you’re on the go, but you don’t always have the savings you need to deal with them. If you’re caught short on cash, you might be tempted to search and apply for loans with your phone.

The first part of that process is acceptable to do in public. You don’t need to worry about people spying on you when you type a question like this into Google: what are fast personal loans online?

Looking for online direct lenders and finding out how much online loans cost won’t pose much of a risk. After all, you aren’t exchanging financial information to get your answers.

Things change when you try to get a loan by phone. A standard online loan application requires your bank account number, social security number, and employment information.

Online direct lenders need this info to run a background check and make sure you’re a good candidate. If you’re approved, they’ll set up a fast loans direct deposit with all that financial info.

All that personal information is exactly what hackers need to steal your identity and open fraudulent cash advances in your name. So, wait to apply for a loan by phone until you’re home.

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2. Secure Your Financial Accounts

Do you ever find yourself wanting to check your bank balance before grabbing a latte? Or logging into your online loan account to confirm your next payment date? These tasks, while seemingly harmless, can expose your sensitive financial data to hackers.

Wait until you’re on a secured network before accessing your financial accounts. Even though you’re not filling out an application, your bank account, online loan, and budgeting app contain confidential information that hackers could exploit.

When you log in, hackers can see both your email and password. Shockingly, 52 percent of people reuse passwords across multiple accounts, making it easier for hackers to gain access to various accounts.

To protect yourself, avoid using public networks when logging into sensitive financial accounts. Remember, even seemingly innocuous activities like checking your bank balance can put your financial data at risk.

3. Check Your Email

If you’re taking a coffee break at your local café, you’ll want to avoid checking your work email. Think of all the conversations, access codes, contact details, attachments, and files it contains. Your inbox is a mixture of personal and proprietary information that should remain private.

If a hacker were to access this account, they would see all this information, plus they’d gain the keys to get into other accounts you set up with this email.

While your job may seem low stakes, the risk of an attack is never zero. The danger is elevated the higher you are on the totem pole, with C-level management having the most to lose.

Public Wi-Fi gives hackers an easy way to gain your corporate email account, so it’s best to wait until you’re a secured network to check it.

Bottom Line

Public Wi-Fi networks may not always compromise your accounts or steal your identity, but maintaining a healthy level of suspicion about their safety can help safeguard your information. Utilize public hotspots for basic browsing needs that do not involve logging in, sharing financial details, or accessing corporate data.

About the author 

Mubi Ace

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