To connect devices like smartphones, laptops, computers to the internet WiFi is a basic requirement. The availability of public wifi is an added advantage for people in general. It can be used to download music, movies, books, photos, videos, etc. You can browse the net in your leisure time for free. Public wifi is set up in public places like malls, airports, coffee shops, hotels, parks, etc, and is accessed by millions of people.
How to Use Public WiFi Safely?
In spite of the public wifi being used by numerous people, it may not be always safe and Secure. The hackers are smart enough to steal your identity and money if you are not cautious. The main target of the hackers is to get connected with the network where many users are already connected and they can easily get all the data and information through this network. If the file-sharing has been enabled in your device, the hackers can effortlessly share files and send files that are corrupted with malware.
Beware of the hackers who can create a fake wifi hotspot with the intention of stealing your personal information by using your social networking accounts, your financial credentials, documents, photos, videos, etc. If you unknowingly connect to the fake network that has been created by the hackers, they can corrupt your system files. So, whenever you use public wifi make sure you are adequately protected with a strong password.
Tips to Use Public wifi Safely:
- Make sure the file sharing option, Bluetooth, and automatic connectivity features are turned off before you connect to public wifi. You can do so using the control panel or system preferences and then choose to share and deselect everything. Go to the finder and select AirDrop and select the option – allow me to be discovered by – No one. You can turn off the AirDrop if you are using an iOS device. It is advisable to avoid logging into certain specific websites like your online banking services, online shopping, or social networking sites using public wifi.
- Verify the network name very carefully, since some of the links can be a bogus link. The cybercriminals set up such fake links to steal your identity. Before blindly connecting to unrecognized or suspected links verify the same with a trusted person, you could even confirm with an employee to check if the link is valid.
- Make use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to browse the Internet in public areas as it is the safest and secure method since the data and information won’t be accessible for the hackers. The benefit of a VPN is that it can disguise the IP address of the user. VPN will encrypt all your personal information and data that are transmitted from your phone or laptop. Investing in an ideal VPN is worth it if you are traveling a lot or connecting to various public networks.
- Use HTTPS at the beginning of a website address to make sure the webserver and the browser are encrypted. HTTPS sites are protected and safer than HTTP sites since they use encrypted data. Always remember to forget the network once you have done using public wifi.
- Enable the Firewall in your device which acts as a guard from malware threats and any malicious data will be automatically blocked by the firewall. The firewalls alert you about any skeptical files or websites. It will guard your system from hackers who attempt to steal your personal information. Make sure you have installed the latest version of the antivirus program in your device to stay safe from malicious attacks.
When you come across a sign which says ”Free Public Wifi” no doubt the temptation can be hard to resist. Carefully analyze to check the authenticity of the network. Take into consideration the above mentioned valuable tips before you connect to a Free Public Wifi to secure your data and identity.