How Hackers Steal Your Data In Public Places And Online

how hackers steal your data in public places
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Last Updated on March 17, 2021 by Admin

Fake WiFi Hotspot

In this short article, we look at how hackers steal your data in public places.

Picture this…

You sit in a coffee shop enjoying yourself, oblivious of a hacker in the same shop.

The hacker launches a software that creates a spoofed WiFi Hotspot, with no password required to join.

Since you like free WiFi, you join the network with your laptop or phone.

Once you do that, the hacker has complete access to all the content in your device.

In that case, if you have a folder where you keep sensitive personal data the hacker can access that too.

The whole attack only takes a few minutes to complete and in most cases you are not aware that you have been hacked.

  • When you are in a public place, be very careful not to join any unknown WiFi network, especially if it is free.

Make sure you have a VPN because it creates a shield so that no-one other than you views your traffic.

  • At a glance, these are the best VPN services I recommend:
how hackers steal your data in public places

Phishing attacks

This is a popular way hackers steal sensitive information from your account e.g. passwords, personal information or credit card details.

There are various ways in which an attack is launched but we look at a common method, that is use of an email.

An example of such an attack works as follows:

  1. You receive an email indicating that you have received some sort of reward
  2. The reward is given a limit to create urgency e.g. limited to first 10 users or expires after a certain period
  3. You are then asked to log in immediately to claim that reward. If you are someone who cannot resist temptation, you ‘beat the deadline’ by logging in asap.
  4. In the process, you willingly give away all your sensitive login credentials.
  5. In some cases, you are taken to a login page that has been cloned from a real site, e.g bank website. If you don’t look at fine details like URL, spellings and other signs, you fall into the trap.
  6. When you enter your login details and hit enter on that website, the hacker captures those details on the back-end.
  7. Afterwards, you are then redirected to the real login interface and that’s when you realize it’s a scam.

By the time you realize that your security has been breached, the hacker is long gone.

It’s easy for one to overlook simple precautions especially when in a busy spot where there are distractions.

Features that make a VPN effective

The above scenario is only a glimpse of how hackers steal your data in public places.

Hackers can also try to intercept your data when you are connected to a public WiFi.

One way to stay on the safe side is to use a VPN as it encrypts your traffic so that only you can view it.

  • Our VPN of choice is NordVPN.

When you connect to the internet using a VPN, a secure VPN tunnel is created.

In this tunnel, your data is encrypted and any hackers who attempts to breach the VPN tunnel faces a hard time.

There are other VPN features that protect you from any cyber-attacks and that include:

  • Kill switch to terminate a VPN connection when there is a security threat.
  • Strong encryption to ensure it’s super-hard to get to your data.
  • Masking of your IP address.
  • Use of modern VPN protocols like Wireguard.
  • Zero DNS leaks.

Conclusion

Only use trusted VPN services that are ranked highly by independent platforms like Trustpilot. It is risky to use a VPN that has not been reviewed and passed the test.

We review top VPN services that have clear security policies.

You can choose the best VPN depending on your device, location or use.

Leave comments below on how hackers steal your data in public places.

A Pineapple attack is another way hackers compromise WiFi networks so make sure you check it out too.

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Tech writer and VPN expert

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