Borrowing money on public wifi network: When you’re far from home and your data’s running on fumes, should you jump on an unsecured network to get onto the Internet? The answer depends on what you’re planning on doing with your phone.
Nowadays, the smartphone in your hand can do almost anything — from testing your brainpower with a game of Wordle to helping you find a cash loan in an emergency.
When it comes to getting a loan by phone, you’ll be sharing personal information that needs an extra layer of protection. While you can technically apply over the phone anywhere you can find Wi-Fi, you’ll want to wait until you’re on a secured home network to get a loan online.
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What’s Wrong with an Unsecured Wi-Fi Connection?
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the Wi-Fi at your favorite café or library branch. This free network can be convenient for anyone — whether you don’t want to use your data or don’t have a home network at all.
However, it lacks the security of a home network. An unsecured connection means anyone can use it while you’re surfing the web.
The problem arises when a cybercriminal joins the network. They have the tools and know-how to exploit this shared connection and track all your activity.
That activity can include any data you send or receive when you apply for or review a loan by phone.
This can be an issue, considering the information your cash loan application and online profile contains. Most loans over the phone require the following personal information:
- Contact details, including full name and address
- Banking info and bank account numbers
- Social security number
- Employment information and history
This data represents a treasure trove for cybercriminals. They can use it to open fraudulent payday cash advances and same day loans in your name, stealing this money and never paying it back. borrowing money on public wifi network
Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi
You don’t have to swear off public Wi-Fi for the rest of your life. It’s just a matter of appreciating timing.
While you should save financial housekeeping for when you’re on a secured network, scrolling through Instagram while you wait for a latte has fewer risks.
You’re even safer when you follow these online safety tips
- Know how to spot scams: Recognizing a scam can help you avoid one. Don’t visit unusual websites, and always check for HTTPS authentication before browsing.
- Browse your inbox carefully: Phishing scams involve a criminal posing as a trusted financial institution to trick you into following predatory links or sending personal information over email. Don’t click on emails from unfamiliar senders and don’t respond to an email with any personal information.
- Use a randomized password: The less predictable the password is, the harder it is to crack. Stick with a random assortment of letters, numbers, and symbols, reaching at least ten characters. Make sure you don’t repeat passwords for any of your logins.
- Install a VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) is a program that jams your mobile traffic so that no one can spy on your activity. Compare your options to ensure the VPN’s encryption is up to scratch. borrowing money on public wifi network
The Takeaway: Better Safe Than Sorry
Just because some tech-savvy people can spy on your browsing activity, will they? While you aren’t the most lucrative target — that title goes to big online direct lenders or CEOs of major corporations — you shouldn’t take your safety for granted.
Just because you’re a smaller fish doesn’t mean you won’t get caught. You can easily safeguard your data by waiting to apply for a loan by phone until you get home.