We all have found ourselves in the middle of nowhere, where we did not have LTE service, but there was a free Wi-Fi available to which we could connect and use somewhat faster internet. Have you ever thought why the Wi-Fi network is free and unprotected? Usually, it is because businesses like Starbucks for example want to attract more customers and they allow anyone to connect so they can hopefully stay and purchase something from them. However, the fact that anyone can connect means that people who wish to steal information from you can connect to the same Wi-Fi network and easily steal your personal and private information. If you are one of the lucky people who have connected to a free Wi-Fi network and had nothing stolen, do not think it can’t happen to you. In fact, follow the below measures and public Wi-Fi security tips to ensure you never get your information stolen when you connect the free Wi-Fi network again in the future.
- Never use public/free Wi-Fi networks to access sensitive information such as paying bills or buying something online. It can wait, or you will be stuck waiting for your money to magically show up in your account once they disappear, but I am pretty sure they will not come back.
- If you connect via a public Wi-Fi to do work for your company, always be sure you work through the VPN tunnel that the company provides. If your company does not have a VPN tunnel established to the company network, be sure to speak with the IT department to establish the best way to work on your computer when you are not in the office.
- Only browse websites that start with HTTPS while on public Wi-Fi. The HTTPS adds a level of encryption to the communication between your computer and the website server. It is in no way the safest and most secure thing in the world. Do not think that just because a website has an HTTPS address, it is safe, secure, and that you can’t get a virus. All websites are vulnerable, but the HTTPS ensures your chances of your information being stolen are smaller.
- Configure the wireless settings on your devices to no automatically connect to available Wi-Fi hotspots. By ensuring you are not automatically connected, you will never connect to a network that you are not aware of.
- Ensure you have your information on your machine encrypted.
The safety tips listed are surely not the most complicated things in the world and anyone can do them. If you are not doing it, you certainly should begin to. Stay safe out there and let us know if you would like to see more articles like this one in the comment section below.