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Tips for Using Wi-Fi Safely When Traveling Abroad

Using Wi-Fi when traveling abroad opens users up to many hacking opportunities, potentially jeopardizing passwords, bank accounts, emails, and more.

Free Wi-Fi networks are notorious for putting your data at risk and opening your devices to possible hacking attacks. When accessing these networks while traveling abroad, the risks associated with free Wi-Fi become even greater. When connecting to an unknown or public Wi-Fi network, you should take advantage of DFNDR’s Wi-Fi Check feature. This function will verify download speeds, DNS security, and network security, clearing up concerns about which hot spots to trust. Click here to check your Wi-Fi:

While the smartest approach is to rely solely on data, this may not be a viable option for most travelers due to cost. In situations where you feel the need to rely on free hot spots, be sure to use Wi-Fi Check and to follow the safety tips listed below.

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The Risk

When targeting tourists through Wi-Fi, hackers typically rely on one of two main tactics. In both cases, sensitive data can be viewed, recorded, and stolen by hackers. These attackers can potentially view your passwords, social networks, important documents, emails, bank account information, and much more through the compromised device.

The first tactic involves tracking users’ movements on unencrypted Wi-Fi channels. In this instance, hackers can capture all data sent to and from your computer and, with websites who don’t use HTTPS, can view your usernames and passwords, as well. In some instances, unprotected networks can enable Man-In-The-Middle attacks, in which traffic sent from your device to another is intercepted, recorded, or adjusted and then passed on.

The other risk Wi-Fi users face when traveling abroad includes fake hot spots offered for free, often mimicking the name of a known and trusted free Wi-Fi network. Oftentimes, these networks will appear to mobile users as Starbucks or Apple Store hot spots, when in fact they are malicious connection points.

Safety Tips

When leaving on a trip, you should change passwords, using a strong combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. In addition, your phone’s Wi-Fi setting should be switched off when not in use to prevent automatic connection to nearby hot spots. Before connecting to a Wi-Fi network, verify that the channel is encrypted and authentic. This can be done by verifying the network name with hotel managers or airport employees. When using these networks, only access encrypted channels (ones where the URL begins with “HTTPS”).

Make sure to turn off sharing settings, program your devices to “forget” Wi-Fi connection, and enable two-factor authentication for all accounts.