With technology – smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. – being used more and more worldwide, it’s no wonder there are many more public and guest Wi-Fi hotspots than in previous years. But, with more convenient Wi-Fi hotspots there are possible security risks, where personal information can be stolen and exposed without you knowing it. Without adequate protection, you’ll risk exposing your online identity and money to online hacs.
With that said, here are 8 effective ways to stay safe, should you plan to use public Wi-Fi.
First, verify the public Wi-Fi network that you’re using. Next, have your device’s Wi-Fi settings configured in a way that no one can know that your device is using that network. Then, remember to turn off sharing, so that you won’t receive or give out any sensitive data.
Hackers are so clever, that they’ll even create a fake network to catch unsuspecting users that are surfing the web. So, make sure that the Wi-Fi network is legitimate, or don’t use it.
When using public Wi-Fi, be sure to turn off automatic connectivity on your mobile device(s). Most smartphones, laptops, and tablets have automatic connectivity settings, which let you connect to hotspots with ease. While this is a convenient feature, it can also connect your devices to suspicious networks. Hackers set up FREE public Wi-Fi hotspots to steal your personal details. So, it’s safer to keep these settings turned off in public or use a VPN to protect your private data.
Consider using a VPN solution to ensure your privacy and anonymity are protected when you use public Wi-Fi.
Reputable and trustworthy VPN services can help you not only get the best out of public and guest Wi-Fi, but it can also help you stay safe by doing so. With TrustZone VPN, it helps make your public Wi-Fi connections private and secure by encrypting your information, so you won’t have to worry about your private information being spied on.
Firewall is essential to have on your mobile device (especially laptops), because that can prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized external access to your system. Not only will a firewall provide complete protection, but it’s essential to have turned on, period, acting as a barrier to dodge data-based malware threats. If it detects any malicious data, the firewall automatically blocks it.
You wouldn’t let anyone access your bank account, right? So, when you’re on a sensitive site through public Wi-Fi, then you’re basically giving cyber criminals access to your personal data. So, avoid logging in to any online accounts that store any sensitive information that belong to you. That means, avoid logging into:
It’s always important to update your software and apps every so often. Updates ensure that you’re getting the best quality experience on the software and app possible.
While it’s tempting to ignore updates, it can actually be detrimental to your device. Without an update, your device will be vulnerable to faulty data from “old” software and apps. Therefore, updates offer fixes for newly discovered vulnerabilities.
While it can be tempting to go shopping online to help pass the time when you’re in public, it’s still a big NO-NO. Why? Because as mentioned before, cyber criminals know how to create fake networks that they can steal data from users in.
So, whatever you do: Don't ever shop online when using public Wi-Fi, because making purchases online requires personal information that may include bank account and retailer login credentials, which cyber thieves can get a hold of through an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
While Bluetooth is a great connecting feature on many smart devices, leaving it on while in public places can spell trouble. Bluetooth allows various devices to communicate with each other, meaning that hackers can easily gain access to your devices.
In that case, be sure to turn off Bluetooth whenever you’re not using it. Keep this function on your mobile devices locked down when you leave home, work, or any other secured area.
As you can see, digital security is essential, especially when using public and guest Wi-Fi. You wouldn’t want your data to get into the wrong hands, right? So, follow these 8 easy tips, and you and your devices will be safe from cyber criminals at any public place.
Kendra Beckley is a writer and editor at Coursework help and Thesis help. As a business development manager, she oversees the business practices done in various companies, and offers effective input on how to improve such practices. In her spare time, she blogs about topics on business analysis, marketing, and social media.