We all know that public WiFi is not a safe option to connect to. If you didn’t know this, well, now you do. However, what do you think about hotel WiFi? Is it safe or not? A lot of people assume that, since it says “hotel” on it, there must be good security behind it, right? Wrong, a hotel WiFi can be as insecure as any other public WiFi.
At the same time, hotel WiFi connections are a popular target for cybercriminals as they understand that people feel relaxed and act recklessly when connecting to them. Simply put, hotel guests are on vacation, or they come back to spend the night with data – they aren’t thinking about online security.
After reading this post, you won’t have to think about hotel WiFi security, as you will know what to do.
Hotel WiFi is a hotbed for intruders
A lot of cybercriminals and hackers use hotel WiFi as their access point to get into other people’s devices connected on that network, steal their information, or infiltrate them with a virus. There are a couple of most common attacks which can occur on these kinds of networks.
With replay attacks, hackers create a repeated authentication session for the user trying to connect to the network. This is how they can learn the password for that network and access it as well as get information from the person that tried to log in.
They also use eavesdropping attacks where they create a network which is called the same as the network of the hotel for users to connect to it. Once they do, they are completely exposed. Another attack is focused on traffic where hackers see the data that is being sent and received through that network. Additionally, if you type in a wrong password and you are still able to connect, then this means that this is a fake network set up by someone else.
How to protect yourself
When it comes to replay attacks, you should set your device to see what you are typing in when trying to connect. If you are sure that you entered the correct password, try to connect, and if it doesn’t happen, then enter the wrong password the next time. Wait a while and then try again until you connect from the first try.
With eavesdropping attacks, the best thing to do is ask for network details from the hotel. Then, when you see which networks are available, make sure to check the details and ensure that they match. This is the real network, and it will be safe to connect to. You also need to make sure that the firewall is turned on on your device when connecting to a hotel WiFi.
To protect yourself from a traffic analysis attack, you need to turn off file sharing on your device, mobile, or computer. This means that you will not transmit private information to people that are connected to the same network, but still, this doesn’t always guarantee safety.
Use a VPN
Even though you should always do the things we mentioned above to increase your security, there is still no guarantee that you will be safe. You never know if there’s already a hacker on the hotel wireless connection and how much they have been able to break it and make it vulnerable. Everything might look ok, but in reality, there is a wolf among the sheep.
This is why you need an extra layer of security that will protect you in these situations. With a VPN (Virtual Private Network), you can do this. This tool encrypts the data that you are sending and receiving when connected to a network and prevents anyone from seeing it, even if they are already on an unprotected network.
However, you need to acquire a VPN tool that can be used with all of your devices that you plan on connecting to a hotel WiFi. For example, if you plan on using a phone and laptop, make sure that you find a VPN provider that can be used on both devices. If one of your devices is protected and the other is not, you will basically be unprotected. Fortunately, these days are plenty of reliable VPN providers to choose from. However, only few of emerge with their reliability, for instance, NordPVN is one of the most popular used VPN app for Android devices.
In the end, also make sure that you aren’t sending or receiving any sensitive information, that your operating systems are updated, and that you use only HTTPS sites as they are better protected.