Are You Secure on Public Wi-Fi If Your Antivirus Is Up to Date? | Mythbusting by F-Secure
Many people feel that if they have an up-to-date antivirus protection, they are safe in public Wi-Fi. But picture this: your antivirus is installed on your device and when you visit a website, your device communicates with a website and the website communicates back. And the traffic that’s generated by this communication, is totally outside of your device and this is something that your antivirus can’t do anything for. If, for example, the website that you visited doesn’t support encryption, the traffic that happens in the network is completely readable, and this could pose a risk for your privacy or security. And for example, if you have shared folders that you have enabled on your device, and then when you connect to public Wi-Fi and don’t have enabled “public mode”, your folders and whatever files you have in them, are now visible to everyone else – your peers – in the network. And let’s say this Wi-Fi hotspot was compromised. Or what if it’s built to be malicious in the first place? Do remember that some of these hotspots could just be devices like mobile phones, or it could be a computer that’s used to share the internet access. And there could be applications that are installed inside these devices, that are actually capturing traffic and data mining it afterwards. Or they could also be hijacking traffic at this moment and replacing it while you are communicating with a certain website. So if you’re not sure – or don’t trust – that who is it that you’re connecting to, and you don’t know who else are there with you in the network, then the traffic that’s happening between your device and wherever it is you’re connecting to, couldn’t be secured by antivirus software.