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I generally use a free college wifi and sometimes chats on telegram and also send pics can hackers access those pics and chats and can he access my gallery and see pics?

And if he hacks and install and malicious apk in it to track then can it be deleted by any way, i have reset my phone! Am i safe?

3 Answers 3

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You make the assumption that by using public WiFi your phone can be hacked.

This is false.

Connecting to a public WiFi does not allow someone else to install an application on your phone. It does not allow someone else to "hack" it either. Hacking is not a magic button someone has to push and wait for the magic to happen. Real life is not a movie.

(For the cyber-nerds out there: this answer is an attempt at vulgarization. Some simplifications were voluntarily made.)

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I would not worry too much for a public Wifi managed by a college IT team. More exactly I would not expect the WiFi manager to try to steal my data, but rather dare a misconfiguration like unencrypted WiFi exchanges between my device and the hotpoint.

But even then I would not worry to much for data exchanged with an end to end encrypted protocol (even if the other end may not be what you expect). The E2E encryption should be enough to prevent someone spying on the WiFi to extract intelligible data.

The real risk is that an attacker installs a rogue hotpoint and that you inadvertently connect your device to it. I know that manufacturers claim that their devices are now secure, but I still remember a demo at a IT security meeting, where at a moment the speaker said that they could extract personnal data from about 10% of the people by hacking their WiFi or bluetooth connections and showed some unimportant data to prove it.

It is no more than my own opinion but I think that the highest risk is there.

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  • If someone hacks my phone or installs a malicious apk in it to track it then can it be deleted or identified by any way? Can it be deleted by resetting my phone? Dec 4, 2020 at 1:40
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As you know best security practice is to not use the public WiFi at any cost when it comes to tasks related to Banking and Social media.

There's no way an attacker can install malicious apk on you phone unless you allow the attacker to install that apk. However the attacker can able to perform an MiTM(Man in The Middle) attack on the WiFi network and can redirect you to a fake website and asks for your credentials or lure you to install the malicious apk or application. To avoid such MiTM attacks use a paid VPN service such as protonVPN or NordVPN.

When it comes to monitoring a chat service such as Telegram or WhatsApp it's not an easy task for an rookie attacker as services like these uses E2E Encryption which are harder to crack.

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  • Why is that best practice? SoMe and banks use TLS. Why is public wifi even a relevant threat vector?
    – vidarlo
    Feb 19, 2023 at 10:22

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