Those who travel a lot probably know about the Airbnb service. It is one of the main sites when you need to find and book accommodation for yourself. You can not only save money (in other words, spend less than on a hotel) but also get an excellent opportunity to get to know the local culture and residents better. One of the main amenities, so to speak, in any accommodation on Airbnb is access to the network via WiFi. Just a few minutes after arrival, guests get access to WiFi! This, of course, is good, there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that this WiFi network itself can be dangerous.
Whether you are a guest or a landlord, your personal information and accounts can be hacked easily and simply. We will tell you how to protect yourself from criminals!
Wi-Fi security is a critical issue
Ever wonder who else uses the Wi-Fi network you are connected to? We do not want to say that those who rent housing through Airbnb, without exception hackers and cyber-criminals, do not! The problem is that passwords from such Wi-Fi networks are distributed to a large (sometimes even very) number of people, but they rarely change them.
And you may connect to the network, which was hacked before you. It may be that the owner of your home himself has given someone else access to this WiFi network, which makes it even less secure.
And if the landlord is connected to the same WiFi network as his guests, then his information is at risk! This is described in more detail in the article “ Why You Should Stop Using Public WiFi Access Points ”.
Hacking Airbnb's housing network is easy
Even though many WiFi networks are encrypted, it is still possible to crack them, and even without much effort.
All routers in the house can be controlled through a browser. Anyone who is even a little versed in the topic can find the IP address of the router. If you enter the IP address of the router in the address bar of the browser, you can quickly find the default login. In this way. you can gain control over the router and, accordingly, the network.
And that's not all. Having accessed the router, you can access the gateway and change it. You can, for example, configure your Raspberry Pi so that all network traffic is redirected through your device.
If your DNS server is running on this device, then you can create web pages that are just very similar to Gmail or Facebook. Having done this, it will not be difficult for you to convince other network users to enter their usernames and passwords there. Other users will not notice the difference at all, and you will receive everything you need to steal their personal information.
This, of course, is a slightly exaggerated scenario, however, this happens. It’s easy for any Airbnb guest to hide a device that will continue to collect other people's usernames and passwords until the landlord changes his WiFi password or finds a bookmark.
You can’t only share access to the network …
Those who use the same network with you can see everything that you download or upload through it. This may include photos, tables, documents, music, videos, and anything else. And for this, they do not even have to hack into the network.
Of course, it would be very convenient (and usually harmless) to share your calendar with all network users – especially if this is your home and your home network. Then any Airbnb guest who uses this network will also see your calendar.
Accordingly, if you cannot create a separate network for your guests, make sure that they do not see anything on the access network that you would not want to share with them.
VPN protection for travelers…
If you often rent an apartment through Airbnb and use open networks or Wi-Fi connections, then you need a good VPN service. VPN (Private Network) technology allows you to encrypt your data and protect it from other users of the network to which you are connected.
Hacking a VPN is almost impossible. In other words, a VPN service is a must if you want to protect your personal information while working on the network.
Many VPN services allow you to connect more than one device at a time, so you don’t have to worry about your phone or laptop being left unprotected. At home, you can share VPN protection with your loved ones.
VPN services are equipped with excellent security features – for example, the ability to urgently disconnect from the network (if the connection to the network is disconnected for one reason or another, the VPN service will automatically disconnect). VPN services also have other functions: with their help, you can access blocked content, protect several devices at the same time and connect to servers from all over the world.
Of course, not all VPN services have such functions (and some services even collect user data), so it would be best to use only proven services.
In our ranking of the best VPN-services collected only the best services. These are the safest, most global and most reliable to which you can connect from anywhere.
… and for those who rent housing through Airbnb
If you rent your accommodation through Airbnb, you need to protect your online data. Of course, Airbnb has its selection criteria, and scammers will not pass them. However, we explained above how vulnerable your network can be – anyone can crack it and use it for a very long time.
The most reliable way to protect yourself is to create a separate WiFi network for your guests. Also, keep changing your password more often.
If you give guests access to your Wi-Fi network, it will not hurt to sign up for a quality VPN service. This will not only give you access to all Netflix content (great!), but it will also encrypt your data. Moreover, it will protect you from any unnecessarily curious guest.
Of course, you cannot know in advance what kind of person will use your Airbnb hospitality. Nevertheless, you can take all the precautions to stay safe, and the VPN will help you with this.