How Hackers Steal Your Data In Public Places And Online

how hackers steal your data in public places

Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by Staff Writer

Fake WiFi Hotspot

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


You sit in a coffee shop enjoying yourself and another customer, a hacker, sits in the same shop.

He opens his laptop and launches a software that creates a spoofed WiFi Hotspot, with no password required to join.

Out of curiosity, you join the network with your laptop.

Once you do that the hacker has complete access to your laptop and downloads all your files.

Unfortunately, you have a folder where you keep you login credentials and other financial records.

This also lands in the hands of the hacker and it only takes a few minutes to complete the attack.

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

When you want to go online, make sure you have a VPN. This creates a shield so that no-one other than you is 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 many ways in which the attack is launched but we look at a common method, which is use of an email.

The attacks works as follows:

  1. You receive an email with claims 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 an user who cannot resist temptation, you try to ‘beat the deadline’ by logging in immediately.
  4. In the process, you accidentally give away all your sensitive login credentials.
  5. In most cases, you are taken to a login page that has been cloned from a real site, like of a bank. 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, nothing appears to happen. However, on the back-end the hacker captures those details.
  7. After the attack, you are redirected to the real login interface and you won’t notice anything

Ladies and gentlemen, you have just been hacked!

By the time you realize that your security has been breached, the hacker will be 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

This is only a glimpse of how hackers steal your data in public places. Treat any request from an unknown source suspiciously.

One way to stay on the safe side is to use a VPN so that your data is scrambled when it is on the internet.

Adblock features and Anti-malware integrated in some VPN services like NordVPN further protect you from being targeted.

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 VPN features that protect any cyber-attacks and that include:

  • Kill switch terminates the VPN connection when there is an attempt to breach the VPN tunnel
  • Strong encryption to ensure it’s super-hard to get to your data.
  • Change of IP address
  • Modern VPN protocols
  • Zero DNS leaks


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.

Fortunately, VPNAnchor has selected the top VPNs that have clear security policies. You can check out the choose the best VPN depending on your device or use.

Leave comments below on how hackers steal your data in public places. I wrote another article on what a Pineapple attack is comprised of so make sure you check it out.

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