Free Wi-Fi has become a fixture in many public places including malls, coffee shops, and airport lounges- but how safe is that network you log on to when you’re sipping your latte? If you want to keep your data safe, there are a few steps that any public Wi-Fi user should keep in mind at all times.
It takes only a little time for hackers to set up a convincing-looking public Wi-Fi network; once the network is available, they only need to wait for unwitting users to connect. Sharing important information over an unsecured Wi-Fi connection makes it only too easy for hackers who are lurking on the network.
If at all possible, it might be a good idea to purchase a data plan from your service provider or invest in personal Wi-Fi services such as Freedom Pop of MiFi, which make it easy to establish a safe connection. At the very least, try to check whether the network you are using is official or not by asking staff or the network operators. It is always advisable to keep your mobile device from automatically connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots without asking for your permission first.
Logging onto public Wi-Fi is sometimes unavoidable, but you should at least make sure not to access any private information whilst browsing on a free network. Save the internet banking and credit card transactions for when you know you’re on a secure network. Turning off network sharing and turning on your firewall are also good ways to keep hackers off your computer.