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The Risks of Using Public Wi-Fi to Send Money to the Gambia Online

23 Aug 2023


Almost every technological development creates ease and convenience. But this ease comes with a cost. And where technology has made it easy for the Gambian expatriates to send money to Gambia from Australia or from other foreign countries in a matter of a few hours, expatriates face many challenges in the process.
 

Do you know what these challenges are? Why do you still worry about your international money transfers despite executing these transfers using the latest technologies?
 

Well, you can cover a range of areas while answering these questions. But one of the major concerns is the safety of your funds, which intensifies when you expatriate because of the financial woes you face in your native country.

An IOM UN Migration report said that the Gambia is a small African country with 2.3 million population. About 118,000 Gambian migrants live in foreign countries to earn a living. Their financial contribution to the economy accounts for over 20% of the country’s GDP.
 

According to a World Bank report, the Gambian migrants sent back remittances amounting to over $600 million in 2022.

While they keep sending remittances, their concern about the safety of their funds and transactions remains because an online money transfer is made of several essential components, the most important of which is the internet.

Therefore, securing yourself online while transferring funds is of critical importance.
 

This blog will shed light on your online safety with particular emphasis on how you can secure yourself while using public Wi-Fi.
 

Understanding Online Safety

Online safety is to protect yourself from possible online threats that you could encounter while engaging in online activity. These include security threats, guarding and managing your data, managing your reputation online, and avoiding illegal and harmful content.
 

There is a difference between online safety and cyber security. While online safety is to protect yourself from online harm and fraud, cyber security protects devices and large networks from harm and threats posed by third parties.
 

In short, online safety is learning about online threats and taking appropriate measures to protect yourself and your money transfer from Australia to Gambia.
 

Take a look at the essential security measures for your optimal online safety, in international money transfers.
 

Let’s now understand the usage of public Wi-Fi.
 

Understanding the Usage of Public Wi-Fi – A Basic Insight

One of the most common things you find in almost every developed country is the availability of an open Wi-Fi connection in several areas. Even if you are travelling in public transport, you will find an open Wi-Fi connection on the buses. And let’s face it.
 

It is pretty hard to resist the temptation to use open and fast Wi-Fi while on the go without incurring any cost that you would in case you were to use your data. Right?
 

Given that online money transfers are largely executed on smartphones nowadays, using public Wi-Fi means exposing your sensitive data to hackers who steal your sensitive information through an open Wi-Fi far easier than they can through a secure internet connection.
 

But still, several people do not shy away from using public Wi-Fi. 

Take a look below.
 

A Few Statistics About Public Wi-Fi Usage

  • About 35% of people access public Wi-Fi 3 to 4 times a month
  • About 23% of people use public Wi-Fi to save their cellular data
  • Around 20% of people use public Wi-Fi to make financial transactions
  • Public Wi-Fi is commonly available at restaurants, airports, and hotels
  • 4 out of every 10 personas using public Wi-Fi end up compromising their sensitive data
  • A majority of people compromised their data on airport and restaurant public Wi-Fi connections

Dangers of Using Public Wi-Fi

It is easy to access a Wi-Fi connection in a library, coffee shop or train station, to use for any purpose including for an online money transfer to Gambia, but remember that this ease comes with the following cost and dangers.

 

Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MitM)

While using a public internet connection, your device establishes a link with the router and connects you to the internet. It allows hackers to position themselves between you and the connection point to steal your data. It is called a MitM attack.
 

Malware Infections

Hackers can easily infect an unsafe and open internet connection with malware, which infects your devices when you connect to it. Then you receive software update requests which if you click, install malware on your device.
 

Sniffing and Snooping

A hacker can control an open internet connection and have access to your device. They can use special software and see what you are doing on your device each time you connect to an open internet connection.
 

Evil Twin Attacks

In the evil twin or honeypot attack, an attacker sets up a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot to steal your data. You are likely to connect to the hotspot if you find its name familiar and trustworthy, and once connected, you are trapped.
 

These are the dangers of using an insecure public Wi-Fi connection.
 

Let’s see how you can save yourself from the threats an open internet connection poses.
 

Essential Measures to Ensure Your Online Safety

The following steps will help you secure your online presence while connecting to an open Wi-Fi connection.

  • The first step is to invest in a Virtual Private Network. Also known as a VPN, it creates an encrypted and secure connection between your device and the internet connection.
  • Use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot as most smartphones come with this feature.
  • Check the website security before proceeding. See if ‘S’ is missing from ‘HTTPS’ then avoid proceeding.
  • Use two-factor authentication. It means that you have to prove that you are who you say you are twice before logging into your device.
  • Never use one password for several sites or apps.
  • Remember to turn off the file-sharing option before connecting to a public Wi-Fi connection.
  • Never forget to log out of certain apps particularly those you use for financial purposes.
  • Keep your software updated.
  • Use complex and awkward passwords for different apps and accounts.

Following these steps can ensure your online safety even while using public Wi-Fi, whose usage, however, is not recommended.
 

Wrapping Up the Discussion

Not only should you avoid using public Wi-Fi, but you must also find a service provider to send money to Gambia online from Australia or other countries that offers you live and market-competitive exchange rates, safety, and speed which saves you from online fraud and much more from one window for a low fee to help you with your family-bound financial aid.

FAQs
 

What is online safety?

Online safety refers to avoiding online fraud, securing your sensitive information, protecting your reputation and taking necessary measures to ensure safety during the course of your online presence.

 

Why is online safety important?

The importance of online safety cannot be overemphasised because online financial fraud is on the rise worldwide. Together people have lost billions to scammers and hackers. Therefore, knowing about online safety and ensuring it is critically important. 

 

Why using public Wi-Fi is not recommended?

Using public Wi-Fi is never recommended because a) it is insecure b) easy to hack and c) because nowadays all the sensitive and personal data is saved on your smartphone. So, chances are that you may end up compromising your sensitive data while using public Wi-Fi. 

 

What are the risks of using public Wi-Fi?

While using public Wi-Fi you are exposed to malware infection, MitM attacks, evil twin attacks, and snooping and sniffing. Through these, your data can be compromised easily.

 

What measures can ensure online safety while using public Wi-Fi?

Use two-factor authentication, use strong passwords for different platforms, turn off the file-sharing option, use a VPN, use your phone as a mobile hotspot, use secure websites, and keep your software updated.

Resources

  • Gambian diaspora

(Overview | IOM The Gambia)

  • Inward remittances

(Personal remittances, received (current US$) - Gambia, The | Data (worldbank.org)


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