Hidden Dangers of Unsecured WiFi

Easy access to wireless connectivity is what powers mobile workforces. That makes it a great thing for countless growing businesses but may also become a vulnerability. 

Unsecured WiFi

An unsecured WiFi connection is any connection that’s public, meaning it doesn’t require a password. These unencrypted connections broadcast like a radio frequency so that if they’re unencrypted, data is visible to anyone who knows how to look for it.

Common Forms of Hacking

  • Wardriving: Hackers drive around looking for weak or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. They map the locations and record the networks’ names (SSIDs) and encryption settings.
  • Pineapples: Hackers set up a Wi-Fi router (referred to as a pineapple) and give it a name that’s identical or very similar to a nearby business network. The pineapple may have a stronger signal or can block the legitimate network.
  • Network Sniffing: Hackers monitor (sniff) Wi-Fi network traffic in search of usernames, passwords, and other personally identifiable information to steal.


  • Disable the Wi-Fi auto-connect feature on your mobile devices for greater control over when and where your devices connect.
  • Use an ethernet connection instead of  Wi-Fi whenever that option is available.
  • Use a VPN (virtual private network) whenever you communicate into your business infrastructure from an unsecured network.
  • Connect to networks with the strongest level of encryption. WPA2 is better than WEP and WPA.

How to Tell if It’s Unsecured

The best rule of thumb is to assume that all public WiFi is unsecured. While this might sound paranoid, in the world of hacking, you’re better safe than sorry! Any IT defense is only as strong as its weakest point, and unsecured Wi-Fi may be just that. Click To Tweet 

Keeping Data Secure

You can do a lot to protect yourself and your data by using common sense. For example, when connecting to public WiFi, avoid logging into any websites that you know aren’t encrypted. Be proactive and always have a backup and recovery plan in case your network or device is compromised.

Contact Us for more information about protecting your data and sensitive information on unsecured networks.