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Public Wi-Fi is a huge convenience to people who work remotely, travel often, or just want to check social media and email quickly when they’re out and about. But in the past, open Wi-Fi has been much maligned as a dangerous Internet space where your information is at risk. Is that still true, and if so, what exactly are the dangers that come with using public Wi-Fi? The risks depend considerably on what kind of Wi-Fi network you’re using. Public Wi-Fi networks—found in airports, coffee shops, and other public spaces where you should never use public Wi-Fi—often require you to type in a password, and maybe even create an account, to access the Internet; this is considered “secure Wi-Fi.” Often, though, all you need to do is “sign in” by checking off a terms and conditions agreement, or perhaps nothing at all. This should be a red flag that you’re dealing with an open Wi-Fi network, also known as an unsecured network.
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