The risks involved with using public Wi-Fi

(AP file photo)

Use public Wi-Fi and you run the risk of being hacked. It's as simple as that.

And yet, a lot of people put their personal information at risk by using Wi-Fi hot spots for doing things like checking their bank account or doing financial transactions. Not a good idea.

Maybe you only use the apps on your mobile device when you use a Wi-Fi hot spot, so the data's encrypted. Well, consider this.

While the data sent via an app is encrypted when you're on a cell network, it may not be encrypted when that app connects to the internet using Wi-Fi.

Research done by Norton, the digital security company, finds that 38 percent of mobile apps do not encrypt their data when it travels across the internet. That means your passwords and all the data you’re sending are not protected.

“Anybody intercepting it can see it across the network,” said Kevin Haley, director of Norton Security Response. “It's not encrypted, so there's certainly a risk there."

The only way to safely connect to the web via public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN or Virtual Private Network.

More Info: Free Wi-Fi Doesn’t Mean Safe Wi-Fi, And Neither Does Having the Password

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