How Safe Is Surfing on 4G vs. Wi-Fi?
Nowadays, everyone is aware of the 4G mobile internet and knows its features. Everyone is also familiar with Wi-Fi hotspots. There are two types of Wi-Fi networks. One of these is the private Wi-Fi network. This type of network set-up is made for home use or at the workplace. The second type of Wi-Fi network is provided for the public. The public can access this internet for free. Many cafes and restaurants also offer this type of network to their customers. Different internet service providers (ISPs) provide this Wi-Fi network throughout the country.
In this new era, people are interconnected thoroughly due to the internet. All these types of Wi-Fi play a crucial role in our lives especially when we are out of our home. However, people are now suspicious of public Wi-Fi for the sake of the security of their data as the number of cybercrimes is rising.
It is also a truth that one’s data can never be fully secure with the availability of the internet. However, there is much safety provided through various applications and software. Several safety measures can be taken if you understand the importance and the effect of these technologies.
Let us move on and discuss the types of internet connections, which can provide internet facilities to our smartphones and make our lives easier.
A device that is enabled for the technology can only access 4G internet. Nowadays, almost all smartphones are enabled to use this fast type of internet. Almost all mobile network providers give access to 4G internet. If your cellphone has reception then this internet can be available anywhere.
Private Wi-Fi Network
It is a private type of Wi-Fi internet that can be used at home and office. This type of internet can be purchased from one of the many internet service providers (ISPs) in the United States. In fact, almost all of the leading names like AT&T internet and Cox internet provide both residential and business internet services. Nowadays, WPA2 technology is available in Wi-Fi routers. WPA2 technology is of great advantage because data remains safe through it. The Wi-Fi network remains safe by the application of a unique username and password. Other encryptions are available that provide further security.
Public Wi-Fi Network
A Wi-Fi network that does not require a password is available at public places like restaurants, cafes or airports, etc. This is the Wi-Fi hotspot facility, which is provided to the public by various internet service providers to promote their service. It will be wrong to say that we should never use such public Wi-Fi connections because sometimes it becomes inevitable to use them. However, to remain connected to the internet solely via these networks may be a high risk because of some black sheep who may harm you by hacking into your device. You are also exposed to viruses, malware, etc. it is similar to swimming in contaminated water and catching a disease.
Risks of Public Wi-Fi
Although public Wi-Fi is very helpful and even a lifesaver in various situations but this type of internet has more problems than advantages. A Public Wi-Fi network is the favorite point for hackers. It invites these hackers openly to perform their devious tasks. The person who is using a public network will use his/her social media accounts, email, etc. thus exposing personal data to hackers. Every year, millions of people lose billions of dollars due to hackers.
There is no encryption on public Wi-Fi hotspots. Since everyone uses the same network, anyone with a knack for hacking can access your information such as browser history and personal files. There is a great risk of even stealing your bank account details if your mobile app is not encrypted.
Man In The Middle Attacks
Through this type of network, people may be exposed to MITM (Man in the Middle Attacks). A hacker can easily access your information like transactions, purchasing or passwords, etc. by placing himself between two unknown people and then stealing your necessary data.
While using public Wi-Fi networks, people also happen to use rogue hotspots. It may be possible to remember the exact information about the Wi-Fi networks that you are using at home or office. But it is almost impossible for you to know the exact name of the Wi-Fi connection at any specific public place like a café, which is a new place for you. Hackers make similarly named network connections to confuse people. People often fall into the traps of these devious hackers, resulting in their data being stolen and device being corrupted
Risks of 4G
There is a risk of hackers in every network system. Hackers are not a problem of any specific network. Whatever type of network you use, such issues are everywhere. If you are not using precautionary measures then you may expose yourself to cybercrimes. 4G is encrypted and much harder for hackers to pass this barrier, therefore, this network is safer than public network connections. This network is quite hard to break and not easy for hackers to take into their control.
Some Safe Solutions
If we were to make a list of these internet connections according to their ranking by security level, 4G comes at the top of the list. The second is the private network connection while the public network comes at the end of the list.
There are some safety measures that you can take to stay safe while online, regardless of the network type you are using.
- Always make use of VPN (Virtual Private Network). All the information that is transmitted from or to your mobile is encrypted by this software. This is very helpful for everyone.
- To remain safe from the danger of viruses and malware, you should install anti-virus software on your device.
- There should be a firewall in your device as it is the first line of defense. Always turn on this option. It prevents the access of unknown software and people to your device.
- Never put your device on the automatic connection for a public Wi-Fi network. To save yourself from rogue hotspots, it is a good practice to make sure you ask the exact network name before connecting.
In the end, the most important thing is making use of your common sense. If you are feeling something is wrong, then do not use it. Never trust something easily in such cases.