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Network security is essential not only for organizations but for individuals too. As cyber criminals are becoming smarter we need to keep our online activities in check. Using public Wi-Fi to make financial transactions or sharing confidential information is not right as it is the most insecure network.
Private networks on the other hand are better than public Wi-Fi as data can be encrypted to avoid unauthorized access by connecting and reading the traffic as it travels through the network. But all this depends on the security level because it’s easy for connected users to snoop on each other’s traffic.
Here in this article we will discuss about Wi-Fi eavesdropping and tips on how to stay protected when using public Wi-Fi hotspots and private network.
Also Read: Steps To Protect Your Financial Data in 2018
What is Eavesdropping Attack?
An attack where someone tries to steal information transmitted through digital devices. The attacker takes advantage of unsafe network communications and accesses sent and received data. These attacks are difficult to detect as no abnormality can be identified in network transmissions. It is also known as sniffing or snooping attack.
What Eavesdropping Attack Can Disclose?
Eavesdropping attack can capture your passwords, credit card details and information from the site that aren’t using SSL encryption. Also, they can get access to the login details of unencrypted sites like Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites also it can capture file transfers too.
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How Attacks Take Place?
The attacker takes advantage of a weak network connection between client and server that permits him transfer network signals to itself. To do this cybercriminal installs a network monitoring software either on the PC or on a server that carries out eavesdropping attack and catches data during transmission.
How to Stay Protected on Public Networks?
- Commonly Wi-fi hotspots are not encrypted thus providing zero protection to your traffic. Eavesdropping attack takes advantage of such network and causes damage than on private networks. Therefore, to stay protectedagainst such attack keep hotspot security intact. As it won’t take long for a hacker to capture password of your accounts using a smartphone.
- The best way to stay protected is to connect to a Virtual Private Network when using Wi-Fi hotspots. A VPN sends encrypted internet traffic from your device making it difficult forhacker to interrupt and read.
- If you aren’t interested in using a VPN then you should access SSL secured sites. SSL secured sites have https address and will show a padlock indicator ensuring that the site is safe to access.
- When using email client programs, such as Outlook or Thunderbird ensure that you are using SSL when POP3 or IMAP and SMTP server connections are configured.
- Don’t access banking sites and make financial transactions when on public Wi-Fi.
Protecting Private Network
Wi-Fi eavesdropping is a big issue when using open networks, but with private networks it is not something that can be ignored.
- Keep network security in check and always use Pre-Shared Key (PSK) mode of WPA2 security (also called the Personal mode) to encrypt data shared overwireless network. As the receiver will have to enter a password to connect and get the data. But this is not full proof but still can be used as a first step towards securing the private network.
- Use Enterprise mode of WPA2 security to make it much stronger and impenetrable. Enterprise mode assigns unique encryption key that is regularly changed.
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These few tips will surely help to stay protected against eavesdropping attack. As this attack cannot be detected therefore it’s better to take cautionary measures before becoming a victim.
Eavesdropping attack is becoming common as people are commonly using public Wi-Fi hotspots, welcoming the attackers to access their data and steal all the private and personal information. Therefore, to stay protected avoid using public Wi-Fi to access banking sites, don’t save any information when asked also use SSL secure sites. You can surf the web, watch videos, do research when connected to public hotspot but never use it to access a site where you need to enter any card details or any bank details.