Many people use public Wi-Fi every day, but do you realise that your personal data and identity could be at risk of being stolen?
How to keep your information safe
Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere you go. Coffee shops, supermarkets, libraries, hotels, and even on aeroplanes for you to stay connected while you travel. This has enabled more people to work remotely, travel while on conference calls, and even use online banking anywhere at any time. Whether this be on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop these networks can be joined by any device.
Whilst using these free services are extremely convenient, they come with many risks. These networks can be hacked and unfortunately, leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Top tips to help you stay safe using public Wi-Fi:
- Avoid using sensitive information such as logging into your online banking while being connected to public Wi-Fi. This will help to keep your account and security from being hacked.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Using a VPN while you use public networks helps disguise your data traffic online and protects it from external access.
- If the Wi-Fi requires you to log in, remember to log out when you are finished. This helps keep your information safe by disconnecting from the network.
- Keep your operating system updated. This can help keep your device safe from cyberattacks as new software updates will build more encryption and firewalls onto your phone or iPad which will make cyberattacks harder for criminals. You can check if your phone needs updating by looking into your settings.
- Use two-factor authentication. This is a method that requires two forms of identification to access a site. A lot of social media platforms now require two-factor authentication which helps to keep your account safe.
- Don’t use the same password for more than one connected device, nor share passwords with those you already use for other online accounts.
- Make sure your accessing secure websites. Stick to the “HTTPS” websites. The ‘S’ on a website’s URL shows that it is secure which means it is a safer website to use.
- Never leave your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or dongle unattended in a public place.
- Always be aware of who is around you and maybe watching what you are doing online.
It’s important to remember that using a secure Wi-Fi connection does not stop the need to take other online security precautions.