why you should use a vpn for public wifi
Internet Tips and Tricks

Why You Should Use a VPN for Public WiFi

Public WiFi can be a convenient way to access the internet when you’re out and about, but did you know it’s also a prime target for hackers and other cybercriminals? Using a virtual private network (VPN) can help protect your online privacy and security when connected to a public WiFi network.  

In this blog, we’ll explain why you should use a VPN for public WiFi and how it can help keep your personal information and data safe while online. 

Are Public WiFi Networks Safe?

In general, it’s safe to use free WiFi, but there are some precautions you should take to protect yourself. Public WiFi networks are often unsecured, meaning that anyone can connect to them and potentially gain access to your device and the information you send over the network. In addition, cybercriminals can use it for their own purposes, such as identity theft or blackmail.  

So, be cautious when connecting to unknown networks and use it for basic browsing only. For example, you should avoid accessing online banking over unsecured WiFi connections.  

But to be even safer, you should also use a VPN when connecting to public WiFi to encrypt your traffic and protect your information.  

Why You Should Use a VPN for Public WiFi

A VPN is a tool that encrypts your internet traffic and protects your online activity from being watched or accessed by others, such as hackers, ISPs, or government agencies. When you use a VPN to connect to the internet, your data is routed through a secure server, making it difficult for anyone to see what you’re doing online.  

Using a VPN is especially important when you use unsecured WiFi networks, such as those commonly found in public places like coffee shops and airports. Hackers and cybercriminals can access public networks much easier than a well-protected home network. By using a VPN, you add an extra security step. Hackers won’t gain access to your device as easily if you’re sending traffic over a VPN server.  

Can a VPN Protect Me Against Malware?

Does that mean you can use a VPN to protect yourself against viruses, spyware, and other types of malware? Unfortunately, while you should use a VPN for public WiFi, it isn’t a catch-all solution against cyberattacks. 

Use other security measures to stay safe, such as keeping your operating system and antivirus software up to date. Additionally, be cautious when opening email attachments or downloading files from the internet – a VPN can’t protect you from phishing or adware. 

How to Set Up a VPN for Public WiFi?

To set up a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing a public WiFi network, you’ll need to follow these steps: 

  1. Choose a reputable VPN provider and sign up for a subscription 
  2. Download and install the VPN software on your device 
  3. Open the VPN and sign in with your account 
  4. Choose a server location and connect to the VPN 

Once connected to the VPN, your internet traffic will be sent through a secure server. You can then use the internet as you normally would, knowing that your personal information is protected from attacks on the public WiFi network.  

Remember that using a VPN can slow down your internet connection. This might result in buffering when trying to stream HD videos. Additionally, some VPN providers may limit the amount of data you can use, so choose a credible provider. Generally speaking, the benefits of VPN far outweigh the drawbacks. 

Finally, you can always connect or disconnect a VPN in your computer’s internet settings or mobile app. 

Recap: Why You Should Use a VPN for Public WiFi

In conclusion, you should use a VPN on public WiFi. It’s a small yet smart step to take for protecting your personal information online. With the increasing number of cyber threats, using a VPN can supply an additional layer of security and peace of mind when accessing the internet on public networks – and at home. 

If you’re interested in leveling up your cybersecurity knowledge, explore our blogs that extensively cover online privacy & security.