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Why You Should Look at the Wi-Fi Network Name Before Joining

Just like colds spread in public places, viruses are spread through shared Wi-Fi connections. That’s why it’s important to only join Wi-Fi networks you can trust.

Everyone is guilty of it: you’re in a public place with your laptop desperately searching for an internet connection. An unsecured network you don’t recognize appears. You click to join it. Later, though, you realize your computer has been infected with a virus that’s likely been passed through that network. While it’s not all that common to spread viruses through public internet, it’s never a good idea to be unfamiliar with the name of your Wi-Fi connection.

While any public internet connection could spread viruses, you don’t want to click on foreign Wi-Fi because of the potential that it is networking sharing-enabled. If the network you join has a shared file system that can be used by multiple devices, malware could be downloaded onto any device with write access. Additionally, the malware-infected Wi-Fi could open up remote access on your computer. Remote access lets the intruder use your infected system to attack other devices that also connect to the network.

Read More: How to Avoid Getting Viruses in Public Places

A virus called Chameleon infects and spreads across Wi-Fi networks in densely-populated areas. This virus infects devices that connect to the internet. Computers that log onto unfamiliar wireless networks that have default passwords or no passwords are particularly vulnerable to Chameleon infection. Once infected, hackers can find out the credentials of the virus-ridden device and use it to continue their attacks.

Public internet that’s often left open for a number of users is particularly vulnerable to attacks like those from Chameleon. To keep your computer safe, make sure you know if the internet you want to use is secured with a password. Ask around, and, if you find out that it isn’t password protected, it’s best to wait until you have access to better-secured Wi-Fi to connect your computer to the system.

If your home network isn’t secure, you could have a virus on your hands, as well. To put a password on your home internet, first open your router setup screen. There, navigate to the “Wireless Security” page. Select the WPA or WPA2 wireless security method and enter a password. Once you’ve created a password, any computer that wants to use your Wi-Fi must enter the password before accessing the Wi-Fi.

To keep your computer even safer if you’re connecting to a public network, download PSafe Total Windows. The software activates real-time virus scans to protect your computer from any intruders. Additionally, the anti-theft feature also tracks and blocks your data in case you lose your computer or have it stolen.