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Is Free Wi-Fi Safe to Use in 2019 and What's the Catch

Free Wi-Fi more properly referred to as public Wi-Fi that’s very known to be at places like Starbucks, the airport, buses, most restaurants, and even on airplanes is something that most of us used in the past, and well, you are reading this, so you for sure did. But is free Wi-Fi safe to use in 2019 and what’s the catch? As we do sure love free things.



The problem with free things is that they are rarely given with no expectation of something in return. If you are getting something because it benefits someone too, think about the catch, as unless you are lucky enough to know people on that level that there’s no catch, there is always a catch. And that catch might be the difference between whether free Wi-Fi is safe to use in 2019 or not.



Privacy Is the Currency You Pay for When Something Is Free

If you are wondering is free Wi-Fi safe to use in 2019 and about the catch, privacy is the big catch. Whenever something is free, you still pay almost every single time, but with privacy. Matter of fact, for many services like Facebook, data makes more sense. Facebook can earn around $240 per user per year from data.


Who pays that much for any single subscription per year?



It’s Hidden in Plain Sight and You Agree to It!

Did you ever go through the terms and conditions section of free Wi-Fi? There’s plenty of interesting information there and about how your data can be stored up to several months. It’s there. And it’s also pretty much legal because you accept it by ticking the box without reading as you are in a rush to access that Wi-Fi ASAP.


Right?



But Does the Lack of Privacy Make Free Wi-Fi Unsafe in 2019?

Unless you are doing something awfully suspicious, the government won’t care about you. Facebook? Well, Facebook might make $240 from your data, but it’s not accessed by people. It’s used by powerful code in order to maximize revenue potential from showing you the right ads.


Most privacy breaches won’t affect you. The internet might hype everything up to a point people march on the streets but is Facebook showing you an ad of a product you would actually like to buy instead of a Barbie doll really that bad?


It’s the same with Google, Instagram and most other services that you use.



But Free Wi-Fi? That’s a Problem.

If you are wondering is free Wi-Fi safe to use in 2019, it might be, but it most likely isn’t.


AI used by big companies takes data, but when it comes to free Wi-Fi, people can access where you are going, the sites you are accessing, your passwords, and things you don’t want people to know like for instance your code for your fence.


Free Wi-Fi is often a bigger danger than the lack of privacy from social networks because on a site with billions of users versus a cafe with 20 people and 5 people working, what’s the bigger danger?


The group in any public Wi-Fi area is much smaller. And with some simple software, your data can be accessed by anyone whether it’s the people working in the cafe or the people pretending to be working while drinking their coffee in a cafe. And that’s the big danger of free Wi-Fi.



Is Everything at Risk When You Use Free Wi-Fi?

Your banking stuff is of course encrypted. Well, until you send it in a message in an app that does not encrypt. And while some Wi-Fi hotspots are encrypted, ¼ isn’t. And that’s a very major number. Especially if you consider the fact that 39.31% of Wi-Fi locations in the US are insecure meaning that almost every second Wi-Fi you connect to is not secure.



Your Data Being Taken Isn’t the Only Risk

Somebody finding out your fence lock can be awful but what if they install eavesdropping tools on your laptop? Perhaps there’s a reason why your laptop dies a lot quicker recently? What if somebody can find out your address and when you leave home by hearing you or merely by monitoring where you go with your laptop and when you use it?


That’s what can happen.



How Can You Protect Yourself When Using Free Wi-Fi

You were wondering is free Wi-Fi Safe to use in 2019 and about the catch, but we aren’t going to just leave you without solutions, are we?



Encryption is essentially a big problem. Or rather the lack of it. If you can access encryption, everything you access will be stored securely, and that’s what matters, a lot.



How Do You Access Encryption? By Using a VPN!

A VPN service is a virtual private network that allows you to change your location virtually but also to stay protected on the internet.


PrivateVPN is an example of a VPN service with the highest possible level of encryption on the market. Now, we aren’t the only VPN service out there, but we are also based in Sweden where there is a privacy law that prevents from keeping logs. It’s a long story but to put simply, certain VPN companies have in the past kept logs to expose people. You can find plenty on the internet about it.



And let’s be honest, most people will read this, will be slightly moved, and will doubt this article, until something happens.


What if we told you we were also the best VPN for Netflix meaning that if you are outside of the US that you can still access American Netflix with the most content. What if you could access 21 Netflix countries? American Netflix has the most content, but it doesn’t have it all. We are the best VPN for Netflix based on the test of 59 VPN services done over 5000 times by a site called Comparietech if you have trust issues.


Is that something that would encourage you to get privacy, if you are getting that too? Perhaps you are an Amazon Prime or DAZN person, don’t worry, we support those too. And many other things. Reach out to our customer service and they’ll let you know.


Oh, and our blog is full of other guides to help you out.


And if you really don’t want to use a VPN while keeping full privacy, just don’t connect to free Wi-Fi. Or use 3G/4G which won’t protect to you from everything but will provide significantly more privacy.


Written by Michael Smolski.