Is It Safe To Use Hotel Wifi In This Age Anymore?

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Is It Safe To Use Hotel Wifi In This Age Anymore?

The holiday season brings about much travelling for many, and with that a lot of airport or hotel hopping about. As a traveller, you may often find yourself ready to be connected to the nearest Wifi connection you can get your hands on for the sake of sending a message back home, or perhaps to search for the location of a place.

You are also probably familiar with the common concern that any public or free Wifi is said to be a no-no risk to connect to, not with hackers a-plenty waiting and ready to steal your personal information/banking data/credit card details and the likes of it through fake Wifi hotspots.

“Is it safe to use hotel Wifi?”

Perhaps what once was an undeniable answer “No” to that question before, may come as a surprise to you with a different answer in this current day.

Yes, hotel Wifi or any public or free Wifi for that fact still poses a lot of security risks. Hotels make easy targets for hackers to create bogus hotspots with a Wifi name similar to the hotel’s in aims of luring guests to sign onto the network, thereby allowing the hackers to watch all Internet traffic of guests.

Moreover, many hotel Wifi hotspots do not have WPA (Wifi Protected Access), which means data being sent over the network is in clear-text, which allows for any hacker to identify and extract information. What’s more, their password-protected networks merely give the illusion of guests’ security as WPA and WPA2 certification programs can easily be cracked.

Going back to the initial question, it is not so much that hotel Wifi has gotten safer over the years, but rather there are now more security tools and measures that you can utilise to protect yourself better.

A lot of former risks which came with the Internet now have some tools that can at least help you to combat them, or take steps to prevent. Encryption may have been a foreign word to many, but nowadays is gaining more recognition from netizens for its importance online.

Because of these sort of tools available easier for Internet users, it makes using hotel Wifi safer as compared to before. However, it is still only advisable to ever surf on public, airport or hotel Wifi when you know you have equipped yourself against the Internet dangers out there.

Here is how you can do so:

  • Of course you knew this one already: use a VPN! A Virtual Private Network like BolehVPN can help you protect your data so that it is more difficult for snoopers to sniff out. Even if the network you are connected to is compromised by a hacker, they will only be able to see your encrypted data. So no matter if they are intercepting your Internet, they are not able to read the information you are sending.
  • HTTPS websites are you friends! If you are still surfing without a VPN on public Wifi (highly unadvisable!), at least make friends with HTTPS websites. The “S” means “Secure” (or sometimes you will see a little green padlock), meaning the traffic is encrypted between that site’s servers and your browser.
  • An alternative is to use your phone as a hotspot or by using a dongle. Often times you would find that using your mobile data is not only safer, but also provides much faster speeds than with the hotel’s Wifi.

To reiterate, it is not impossible to browse on free Wifi or your hotel Wifi while travelling provided you are taking the right precaution. Nevertheless, it is vital that you take the correct measures and use the right tools if you want to opt for a safer surfing experience.


Read also:

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