Wi-Fi is becoming a thing that’s all around us, with free connections popping up everywhere. When you visit someone’s home, they often allow you to connect to the web, giving you their password and allowing you to use free internet.
While that’s all fine and dandy, you may think that all of your searches are private, which may not be the case.
Can the Wi-Fi owner see what you’re searching for? We’ll have answers to that and more below.
What They See, What They Don’t
Wi-Fi routers are there to connect home networks to the web and keep track of all sites visited along the way. Because of this tracking and logging, Wi-Fi owners can see what you’ve accessed, getting a glimpse of their logs.
Logs will show the site’s address, though that’s about it. There are some cases where they can not only see what you’re visiting but what you’re typing, something you may want to keep in mind for future reference.
The difference between the sites they can and cannot see deeper into depends on the HTTPS protocol, as they tend to be much more protected and shielded. If it’s HTTP protocol, they can see just about anything you do, including what you’re writing within the pages you’re visiting.
How Detailed Can It Get?
Wi-Fi admins can see quite a bit if they check into it and browse through a number of details that you may not want them to know.
Some of the details that are included in their complex admin networks include:
- All websites visited and their URLs.
- The pages within each URL that were visited.
- How long was spent on each website.
- The total time that was spent online.
Can Wi-Fi Owner See Phone Activity?
Some may think that monitoring is only left to devices like laptops and tablets, but it includes phones too. They will show more detail than some websites, including more than just browser history when it comes to phones.
Wi-Fi owners can also see:
- Call Logs – If you made calls using Wi-Fi, they could see the number you dialed and the duration of the call, along with incoming calls too.
- Message Logs – If messages are passed between you and anyone on your device with a non-encrypted messaging platform, the owner of the Wi-Fi can get access to them as well.
- App Logs – Wi-Fi owners can also look at all of the apps used during your time connected.
This is good to keep in mind when visiting friends and family, but it’s also good to know when using public Wi-Fi. It would be best to refrain from using apps or websites that harbor sensitive information, as they could gain access to accounts that way.
It’s good to keep your sensitive details safe and maintain a bit of privacy so that you can enjoy Wi-Fi without worry.
Can You Hide History from Wi-Fi Owners?
Many internet users think that by deleting their browser history, they can avoid their visits and information being seen. However, that’s not the case, as the Wi-Fi routers will keep track of all of the sites visited for that day.
Though you can’t hide your info by deleting it, you can use a virtual private network (VPN), which will work to encrypt all of your data. Any time you spend browsing, all of your info is encrypted and will not be sent across networks as long as you’re connected.
Not only does a VPN encrypt your data as you surf, but it also changes your IP address. Your IP address is used to identify you and your connection as you surf, which becomes impossible with a VPN. They will not be able to see the activity or see the device where it’s coming from in the process.
Should You Hide Your Browsing History?
Even if you think you trust those with whom you’re sharing Wi-Fi, you may want to consider hiding your browsing history. For starters, it’s about protecting your privacy. As you surf the web, you should not feel that someone is peeping over your shoulder and watching your every move.
Because some of the things that owners can get ahold of include personal messages and information about websites you visit. You should want to keep those private, especially if they deal with sensitive information.
Before deciding, you should consider what your typical web surfing consists of and then decide if you want to risk someone knowing it or not.
Does Incognito Mode Prevent Capture of Monitoring History?
Many think that incognito mode is there to mask all pages visited, but that’s not true. Instead, it will only ensure that passwords and history are not saved on the device. Wi-Fi owners can still see what pages are visited, the amount of time, and even messages if the internet is accessed via phone.
The web is filled with VPN options, not all of them created equally. Some are offered free of charge, though you’ll need to consider security and safety before signing up. It’s best to go with a paid VPN that’s backed by quality instead of choosing one randomly.
Additionally, you could opt for a Tor network, which works to hide all browsing details. To check if your devices are clear from tracking, you could add a spyware checker to make sure you don’t have one on your device.
All of this will help keep your connection safe to surf without worrying who may see what you’re doing while connected.
Wi-Fi owners can see a lot more than you might think when connected to the web, so it’s best to use a VPN and protect yourself and keep your browsing history private.