HomeBlogCybersecurity ThreatsHow To Avoid The Dangers Of Unsecured Networks

How To Avoid The Dangers Of Unsecured Networks

Unsecured Networks

We’ve all been there before. You’re in a public place, trying to get some work done on your laptop. But the Wi-Fi is slow, so you connect to an unsecured network instead. It’s not a big deal, right? Wrong. Connecting to unsecured networks can put your computer—and all the sensitive data stored on it—at risk. Here’s what you need to know about the dangers of using unsecured networks.

What is an unsecured network?

An unsecured network is any public Wi-Fi network that doesn’t require a password. When you connect to one of these networks, you put your computer on the same network as everyone else. That means that if someone on the web is up to no good, they could potentially access your computer and steal sensitive data like passwords, banking information, etc.

What are the risks of connecting to an unsecured network?

When you connect to an unsecured network, you’re opening yourself up to many risks. Here are just a few of the potential dangers:

Man-in-the-middle attacks

This attack occurs when someone intercepts the communication between your computer and the Wi-Fi router. They can then use that information to access sensitive data like passwords and credit card numbers.


Malicious software, or malware, is designed to harm your computer or steal your data. If you’re connected to an unsecured network, it’s easier for hackers to install malware on your computer without you even knowing it. Once they have access to your system, they can do anything from stealing your passwords to holding your files for ransom.


When you connect to an unsecured network, anyone can theoretically listen to your traffic. That means they could see which websites you’re visiting, what kind of data you’re sending and receiving, and more. While this might not seem like a big deal, it can be if you send or obtain sensitive information like login credentials or banking information.

How can I protect myself when using an unsecured network?

Just because connecting to an unsecured network comes with some risks doesn’t mean you should never use one again. There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself:

Avoid accessing sensitive information

Avoid accessing sensitive information like banking websites or email accounts using an unsecured connection. If you need to access this information, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN encrypts all the data sent between your computer and the VPN server, making it much harder for hackers to intercept and steal your information.

Install security software

Security software like antivirus and anti-malware can help protect your computer from malicious software and other threats. Ensure your security software is up-to-date before connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network.

Use HTTPS whenever possible

Ensure you use HTTPS instead of HTTP when accessing websites. HTTPS encrypts the traffic between your computer and the website you’re visiting, making it much harder for hackers to eavesdrop on your activities. You can usually tell if a website uses HTTPS if there’s a green lock icon next to the URL in your browser’s address bar.

These tips can help protect you from threats when using public Wi-Fi networks. Nothing is 100% secure, so use caution when sharing sensitive information online!

Read more about cybersecurity threats.


As you can see, plenty of good reasons exist to avoid using unsecured networks whenever possible. If you must use one, take steps to protect yourself, such as only accessing encrypted sites and being careful about what files you download. And if you’re ever in doubt, err on the side of caution and disconnect from the network until you can verify it’s safe.

More about Cybersecurity on my website.


Hi, my name is Lars, and I write about Cybersecurity, WordPress, and cloud security. After working for three decades with cyber and information security, I now write articles on larsbirkeland.com about these topics. Whether you're a business owner striving to protect your organization, an employee eager to contribute to your company's security, or an individual looking to secure your digital life, my content is written to help you.

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