5 Simple Ways to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks
Nowadays, Wi-Fi is a “need” for almost everyone. Whether you are visiting a mall or dining in a restaurant, waiting at the airport or spending time at the library, you can easily access the internet through public Wi-Fi networks from any location free of cost. But are these networks secure? Is it safe to carry out your daily tasks while on public Wi-Fi?
Although public Wi-Fi is a blessing, especially when you’re away from your home or office or visiting a different place or country, it’s actually a threat to your online privacy. Nothing in the world is free, and likewise, free public Wi-Fi, which appears to be facilitating you without any cost, can actually steal your personal as well as organizational data. There are many security risks associated with public Wi-Fi, including malware, data theft, spying, password hacking, and more.
5 Common Ways to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is risky, yet it’s unavoidable in many instances. We can’t eliminate all the security risks associated with it, but there are numerous safety measures we can take to ensure our online security.
VPN is the most secure option for using the internet. It’s a Virtual Private Network that provides an encrypted tunnel for all your online transactions, eliminating the risks of data thefts. It keeps your online activities free from spying and snooping and does not allow any third-party interference, including interference from your own connection.
VPN allows you to create a secure connection from one of its servers that will disguise your original identity and location. Thus, you can carry out all your activities from that remote server. This protects you from hackers and data snoopers who are on the hunt for unprotected public Wi-Fi users to take advantage of.
There are a good number of reliable anti-malware and antivirus software available in the market. Protecting your device with up-to-date antivirus software is necessary for device security, but this need becomes even more crucial when you are using public Wi-Fi.
While using the internet, your device is at constant risk of invading viruses and malware that allow the host to control all activities carried out through your device. With malware, the host can gain access to all your offline data in addition to your online data and then, can use your device for any unauthorized purposes. Therefore, keeping your device up to date with security software is essential to keep from risking your data.
No matter how many security measures you take, eliminating the security risks associated with public Wi-Fi is very difficult. To stay safe, it’s recommended you limit your sensitive activity while using public or free Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi is great for casual surfing, but it's completely unsafe for any monetary transaction. Never carry out online banking transactions or enter your credit card details while you are connected to public Wi-Fi. A small mistake could cause you a severe financial loss. Also, avoid sharing any secretive organizational data while using public Wi-Fi, as it’s making your data security vulnerable.
All your social media and email accounts require a password, and it’s relieving to know no one can access it except you. But sadly, this isn’t true. Breaking a password isn’t a difficult task, especially when the password is easy. So, it’s essential to create strong, unbreakable passwords to improve your account security.
Always create your password using a unique mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers, and characters. Never use your own name, family members’ names, or birthdays, as details like these are easy to guess and decode. The need for strong passwords doubles if you’re a frequent public Wi-Fi user and often use it to connect to your private accounts.
There are many websites on the internet, but not all of them are safe. Some sites are marked with “HTTPS,” which indicates that these sites are safe to connect with. Sites marked with this acronym ensure complete data encryption on their websites, but they don't provide any data security to and from your device.
Establishing secure connections on the internet is essential, so always connect with trusted sites that start with HTTPS. Avoid clicking on ambiguous or unknown links, as it may be linked to malware. While you are using public Wi-Fi, the chances of receiving manipulated invitation links increases, so make sure to be extra cautious while establishing any connections.
Public Wi-Fi is risky, but this doesn't mean that you have to avoid it completely. You can benefit from this facility without risking your security by using the right security tools and updated antivirus software. Moreover, you have to be extra vigilant about your moves while being on public Wi-Fi.
Posted by Susan Alexandra on Jun 28, 2019