The amazing ability to surf from anywhere sometimes distracts us from a very basic fact: the information may flow to us - but it can flow from us, in other, undesirable directions.So whether you are on your way to a vacation in a city that offers public Wi-Fi or you live in a city that is tourist friendly and you regularly surf the urban network or connect to the network at your local coffee shop, you need to pause and consider the hazards posed by public wireless networks. How much do you know about public Wi-Fi security? In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we're sharing our top 10 tips for public Wi-Fi security.
Public Wi-Fi Security Tips in a Nutshell:
- Never use public Wi-Fi networks to access sensitive information.
- Turn off sharing and do not allow your PC to be discoverable by other devices on the network.
- Treat all Wi-Fi networks with suspicion, especially open networks that don’t require a password or are unsecured.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) if you have one.
- Consider using your mobile phone as a hotspot if you need to access sensitive information.
- Use HTTPS and SSL whenever possible.
- Turn the Wi-Fi off when you aren't using it. Configure the wireless settings on your devices to ask before connecting to available Wi-Fi networks.
- Watch out for duplicate names. When connecting to a coffee shop or hotel, ask the employees for the exact name of the network and password.
- Conduct bank operations only from a home network or at the bank itself
- Don’t forget to disconnect from the public Wi-Fi network, log out of Facebook, your email, or any other site you connected to over a public wireless network.
5 More Excellent Articles on Public Wi-Fi SecurityLooking for more information? Here are a few excellent articles you should read and remember:
- Norton: Public Wi-Fi security 101
- Norton: The Dos and Don'ts of Using Public Wi-Fi
- Lifehacker: How to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks
- Wired: Simple Steps to Protect Yourself on Public Wi-Fi
- Kaspersky: Public Wi-Fi Security