How to stay safe when connecting to a public Wi-Fi
Relaxing in a coffee shop and connecting to the Internet via Wi-Fi is fun and easy. It is also very convenient to be able to access your business information when you are away from the office or even on holiday. But connecting with a public Wi-Fi may not always be safe and secure and could open you up to all types of risks. The last thing you want is having your confidential info stolen or viruses downloading and destroying your data
Here are some tips to keep you safe when connecting to a public Wi-Fi.
- Avoid doing banking or purchasing online using public connections
Unless you really have to, it is safer to do these sensitive financial transactions from the security of your home or office. If you have no option, make sure that the URL, or website address, that you are linking to starts with the letters HTTPS, features a small padlock sign and display a green address bar with the name of the organization. These sites have up-to-date encryption techniques using EV SSL certificate that follow stringent security standards SSL/TLS and scramble up your data, making it difficult for hackers to intercept or phishing attacks.
- Keep your software up to date
Everyone is well aware of the messages reminding you to download and update new and patched software. This may be annoying and appear to be a waste of time, but do not ignore this! These updates ensure that you are protected from the latest hacking tricks and often fix bugs that hackers have found to use as a way to gain access to your data. Up-to-date browser and anti-virus software is a must before you consider surfing the Internet. Some operating systems like Windows, offer built in Firewalls that protect your devices against attacks. Ensure that your Firewall is never turned off.
- Choose your Wi-Fi connections manually
Make sure that your laptop or tablet is set to select Wi-Fi channels manually and not automatically. This means that you will carry out the process of connecting and entering the required passwords for the Wi-Fi and that the device won’t do it without your knowledge. When you are no longer browsing the Internet, log out of the websites you were using and switch off the Wi-Fi ability. This will prevent your device from connecting without your knowledge.
- Use a professional VPN
If you are out and about a lot and require ongoing Internet access, getting a professional company like SecureThoughts to install a VPN to allow you to connect to a public Wi-Fi is a great solution. A VPN or Virtual Private Network, is a network that is installed and monitored by an outside specialist company and offers the highest levels of security against hackers. Learn more by reading some VPN reviews on SecureThoughts.
- Beware of free Wi-Fi connections
Your local coffee shop may require you to buy a token that gives you a password to access their Wi-Fi Hotspot for a certain amount of time. Don’t skimp and look for free connections, rather spend the money knowing that you will be connected to a secure network. Free connections can be lethal and many have only one purpose, to intercept or destroy your valuable information.
- Use extra security tools
You may not be a techno-whizz, but getting someone to install extra security tools on your device is a great idea. Installing 2FA, Two Factor Authentication, adds an extra layer of security. Not only will you enter your user name and password, but also an additional piece of information such as the answer to a personal question, or even scan a physical item like a token or barcode that only you have.
In today’s cyber world, connectivity anywhere and anytime is the way to go, but it does come with risks. By ensuring that your devices are adequately protected, you can surf the Internet without worry.