public wifi safety

How to Use Public Wi-Fi Safely

Public Wi-Fi allows individuals to access online accounts, catch up on work and check emails on the go. Unfortunately, while convenient, it isn’t risk-free. Cyber-criminals can attempt to hack into a device through unsecured Wi-Fi networks or eavesdrop on Wi-Fi signals to access personal information and login credentials. They may also use an unsecured Wi-Fi network to spread malware to other devices on the network. Moreover, some public Wi-Fi networks can even be fake hot spots that lure in users by having a similar name to the legitimate hot spot.

To avoid these types of situations, follow these tips to use public Wi-Fi networks safely:

  • Turn Wi-Fi off when it’s not being used. Most devices that connect to Wi-Fi have a way to turn it off. When Wi-Fi isn’t needed, toggle that feature off so the device won’t search for it or connect to nearby networks.
  • Use a firewall. When possible, install a firewall on devices. A firewall is a security barrier between two networks that control the amount and kinds of traffic that may pass between the two. This protects local system resources from being accessed from the outside.
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN). When utilising public Wi-Fi often, it’s a good idea to use a VPN; it directs all web activity through a secure, independent network that encrypts and protects a user’s data. Most internet service providers offer a VPN as a secondary service.
  • Browse securely. Never trust wireless encryption on a public Wi-Fi network. Instead, make sure websites scramble data by enabling secure socket layer encryption in the settings of the sites being visited. Additionally, make sure websites use HTTPS, which is more secure than regular HTTP sites.

For more cyber-security tips, contact us today.