How to protect yourself on public WiFi networks.
Using a public Wi-Fi connection may be convenient, but it also has the potential to make you and your data vulnerable. So you should use it cautiously.
Best practices when using public WiFi:
- Start up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection as part of your session. VPN will encrypt your data and transfer it using a secure tunnel.
- Avoid checking your bank account, initiating credit card transactions, or accessing websites that would expose personal information.
- When internet browsing, try to only use HTTPS websites (check the website URL in the address bar of your browser).
- Do not use WiFi networks with suspicious names such as “Free WiFi”.
- Always log out of websites before closing your browser.
WiFi networks are especially susceptible to these issues :
- Phony rogue WiFi networks that are set up by cyber criminals who want to capture your data or infect your device.
- Man-in-the-middle attacks where hackers redirect you to a phony login site where your login and password information can be stolen.
- Wireless sniffer tools that steal your data or gather information for use in a future attack.
- Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible (check with your financial institution or credit card merchants for how-to instructions).
- Change your device settings so that you do not automatically connect to public WiFi networks.
- Turn off WiFi, airdrop, and file sharing on your devices when not in use.
- If you travel a lot, invest in an unlimited data plan on your phone and then tether your laptop to your mobile phone instead of using the public WiFi.