What does it mean when my phone says that my WiFi is not secure?

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What does it mean when my phone says that my WiFi is not secure?

In: Technology

It means that the wifi doesn’t have protections in place that prevent mean people doing bad things to you by watching what you send to the internet through your wifi. It’s kind of like if the postal service had an open door policy where anyone could open any letter they wanted, so it’s best not to send things you don’t want other people knowing through that postal service (like bank login details). Wifi that anyone can connect to, like the free wifi in hotels or cafes, are open to this. Ideally what you want to be doing is using a postal service where only you have the key, so no one can open your letters – only do important things on the internet when you’re connected to your home, password-protected wifi.

Most WiFi networks are encrypted: the information between you and the WiFi router is encrypted by the radios at each end so that someone else on the network can’t read any of the data you send or receive.

However, public access WiFi networks (coffee shops, airports, libraries, etc.) often aren’t encrypted. Whatever you send or receive over the WiFi network is readable by anyone else on that network. You need a separate layer of encryption, like a VPN or https:, to render that data secure.

Your phone is warning you that you’re on an unencrypted WiFi network, so unless you’ve got another layer of security, anything you send/receive might be visible.

Unsecure WiFi is like sending your mail only as postcards with no envelope. Anyone can read the message or even amend it.

Secure WiFi creates an envelope of encryption around the messages, meaning only the intended recipient can access and read the data.