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The Risks Of Using Public Wi-Fi For Businesses

With the increase in the usage of public Wi-fi, it has become necessary for users to ensure their devices are secure. Most public network users do not know that their devices are under threat while connected to an unprotected network. 

According to Cyberghost’s report, cybercrime is one of the most lucrative businesses. Since public Wi-Fi is less secure compared to home Wi-Fi networks, users are more susceptible to getting hacked. If you are a business owner, you must try to use secure networks whenever possible. Businesses can face tremendous legal and reputational damage if their data leaks in a hacking attack. Unfortunately, it has become relatively easy for cybercriminals to hack public Wi-Fi, and it is high time for users to take precautionary measures.

Why You Should Not Use Public Wi-Fi?

You should not use public Wi-Fi as they are more prone to common Wi-Fi attacks than home networks. You can not ensure that the public network has proper security measures. Multiple types of Wi-Fi attacks can happen on your devices. Even though some of these attacks are not malicious, they can still provide data access to other network users.

Common Cybersecurity Attacks Through Wi-Fi

It is pretty common these days to attack users through Wi-Fi networks. Below are some of the most common cybersecurity attacks that can take place through public Wi-Fi.

  • One of the relatively less malicious cybersecurity attacks is accidental association. When an unknown device connects to the wireless access point of your device, it is called mis-association or accidental association. If you are operating a business, it can be harmful to you as hackers can access your device data as long as you are connected to the wi-fi. 
  • A more harmful cybersecurity attack is a negative association. When a hacker uses the information from a public network to create a clone of the Wi-Fi network, it is called a negative association. Usually, the Wi-Fi name and passwords are similar to the original network. This ensures that the devices connecting to the Wi-Fi remain unaware of the connection. Hackers can steal private information and financial statements easily if they want to.
  • Ad hoc networks are also quite problematic as public networks. These networks do not have a specified access point, and they create a bridge. Cybercriminals can easily access your device if you are connected to an ad hoc network with the help of a forced connection.
  • Another common form of Wi-Fi attack is called spoofing or identity theft. Cybercriminals use this method to access the IP address of your device. This way, they can continue doing malicious activities online while your device leaves an online footprint for those activities. Hackers usually do this to hide their online activities by using another IP address on the same network as a shield.
  • Denial of Service attacks is also widespread. There is no probable reason why such attacks can happen. However, hackers can hack into Wi-Fi and deny network access to any device they want. This is problematic because this way, hackers can access sensitive information related to your device and later use it to access your data. Also, it can disrupt your usual business activities since it can deny service to the entire company. 

To ensure that no such attacks happen to you, you must make sure that your devices are connected to secure networks only. Remember that something as minor as a wireless printer can be used to hack your device.

Ways To Protect Your Business Over Wi-Fi

Free public networks seem like an easy and fast way to access the internet. However, these public networks are a hunting ground for cybercriminals. Mentioned below are some ways you can avoid getting hacked.

  • First and foremost, ensure that all the websites you visit are encrypted. To check whether a website is encrypted or not, you simply have to look for the HTTPS term in the URL. Ensure not to visit HTTP websites, as they are not encrypted and very prone to hacker attacks. It is also notable that Google Chrome automatically filters such websites for users, so you can use the browser while using public networks.
  • FTP is responsible for transmitting data between the client and server. Since FTP is a fragile protocol, it is considered dangerous to use it on public networks. FTP is very prone to brute force attacks, spoofing attacks, and port stealing. The best way to avoid any issues while using public networks is not to do any activities that can use a File Transfer Protocol.
  • Hackers try to manipulate users into connecting to their Wi-Fi networks in public spaces so that they can easily access their data. Whenever you connect to a public network, ensure you connect to the correct network. If you are still determining whether the given Wi-Fi connection is the right one, we suggest you do not connect to it.
  • Ensure you do not share any sensitive information while browsing the internet on a public network. This includes confidential files, financial statements, or banking information. Avoid booking hotels or flights or buying things online while you are connected to a public network.
  • The most important method to secure your device from public wi-fi network attacks is to invest in a good VPN service. There are multiple VPN services available online that you can use. VPN services allow users to hide their device IP addresses easily. You can also add firewall software for additional security.
  • Conduct regular staff training and introduce your employees to the most common cybersecurity risks they may face while using unprotected networks. 

If you stay aware while using public networks and ensure preventive measures are taken, the chances of your device getting hacked decrease substantially. If you operate a business, you need to protect your device better. In case of a data breach, you can suffer a substantial loss in your business.


It is important to take preventive measures while using public networks. Business owners should avoid using public Wi-Fi networks and explain the potential risks to their staff members. 

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