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Staying safe on public Wi-Fi

With millions of public Wi-Fi hotspots globally, it is important that people are aware there are risks of using these. However, there are simple steps that can be taken to ensure you are being as safe as possible when you sign in to these networks.

Use a VPN

A VPN is the best protection when it comes to using public Wi-Fi networks. It will encrypt your network traffic, making it impossible for someone to monitor your online activity in real-time.

Use https

When accessing websites, use https to ensure you are on the right one. This will encrypt part of your network traffic making it more difficult for someone to send you to a spoofed website.

Disable automatic connections

Most devices have a setting option to automatically connect to any open Wi-Fi. Although by disabling this you will have to manually select your option, you are protecting yourself from connecting to a compromised network. The same also goes for Bluetooth and AirDrop. You should only switch these settings on when you need to use them and should be switched off afterwards to stay safe.

Be aware

Before logging into hotspots at businesses, ask a member of staff if they offer free Wi-Fi, what the name of the network is, and if they have a password. This simple step will stop you from connecting to malicious and fake hotspots.

Avoid sensitive accounts

Although 61% of people believe that their information is safe when using public Wi-Fi, you should avoid checking any sensitive accounts to ensure your personal data is kept private when using these networks. Sensitive accounts include checking emails, bank accounts, and even private messages. If you are on a compromised network and do not check these accounts, they will not be able to access the information. If you are going to check these accounts, make sure you are using a VPN.