1 Malicious Hotspots Can Load Malware
“Malicious Hotspot” sounds like the latest punk-indie band your brother is listening to, but it’s actually a very real term that describes a Wi-Fi public spot that’s designed to hurt devices.
Here the hacker creates their own Wi-Fi network that’s designed to look like an official network offered by a nearby establishment, so people don’t get too suspicious (it’s usually unencrypted, of course). Since the attacker has full control over the network, they can use it to send all sorts of malware to devices. Often this malware pretends to be “Wi-Fi upgrades” or “Login for our free Wi-Fi” notifications, but it’s actually just an excuse to upload some malware.
Sometimes hackers use these hotspots to steal data, but sometimes they just want to infect devices with damaging viruses or ransomware. Not cool either way!
The best way to protect yourself is to stay off of public Wi-Fi networks altogether. But if that’s not possible, or you’re interested in protecting your data on any sort of network, a VPN is your second best bet. A VPN will encrypt your internet traffic to help thwart data theft and more. Here are a few of the most popular VPNs.