Words by Gina Florio
From the editors of HelloGiggles
When it comes to things you’re most terrified of, using public Wi-Fi probably doesn’t make it to the top of the list. We’re here to tell you that it’s something you should think about much more often, though, because there are some real risks to hopping onto public Wi-Fi for what seems like an innocent browse through your laptop or mobile phone.
We’ll just hit you with the hard news first, because we know you can handle it.
More than half of American adults have their personal information hacked into every year – and it’s very likely that the same rings true in the UK.
A recent study found that 89 percent of all these cyber hacks include attacks on a person’s finances. Scared yet? We don’t blame you.
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Even though these statistics are harrowing, Americans, for the most part, aren’t that cautious when using public Wi-Fi. At the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, an experiment was conducted to see how people would interact with the public Wi-Fi made available. 70 percent of the attendees connected to non-secure networks at each conference. Ouch.
We live in a world where people can hop on YouTube and learn how to hack into people’s personal bank accounts, social media accounts, computers, etc – all through public Wi-Fi.
These kinds of hack tutorial videos have already racked up millions of views, which means your information could be stolen at any given time by anyone.
They’ve got company. Sundays at 10pm on HBO.
In order to protect your very precious information (and money), never use a public Wi-Fi network when you’re shopping or logging into bank accounts. Use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, in order to keep your info encrypted.
Or, buy some more data on your phone so you don’t need to use public Wi-Fi when you’re out and about. It will be well worth it.
Good luck out there!