Homeschooling and working on the go means we spend a lot of time on our laptops, tablets, and smartphones and we’re always in search of a strong wifi connection. Free Wifi is great however know that it comes with a risk and using public wifi can compromise your information. Read these tips and learn how to protect yourself online when using public Wi-Fi.
11 Tips on How To Protect Yourself Online When Using Public Wi-Fi
DO Watch out for Wifi Sniffers
Be aware that your personal information can be stolen once connected to unsecured networks. Thieves are just about everywhere you can find a free WiFi connection, and they are lurking continuously for their next victim. You would expect your favorite coffee spot to be a place of zen, but still, consider being careful to avoid teary eyes.
DO Be Aware of Over The Shoulder Creepers
Onlookers or what many people call ‘shoulder surfers’ can be found at just about every coffee shop or Wi-Fi spot. These thieves carefully lean so they can catch any bit of your personal information- logins, card details. They are smart, so it is always good to be a step ahead. Shield your screen with a privacy protector to make it harder for people to snoop.
Don’t use public WiFi to Access Sensitive Data.
A lot of people find themselves in an ugly situation because they are careless with this. Sensitive information such as financial information are prime targets for thieves. Bank and/or credit card platforms should never be accessed over unsecured or open networks. Hackers can easily tap into open networks and see your activities. When connected to public WiFi only access information you don’t mind people seeing.
DO Know when it’s safe to use Free WiFi.
It’s only safe to use Free Wi-Fi when you wish to access any website or platform that doesn’t require your login or payment information- Catching up on the news, checking the weather forecast, or finding directions to your destination. Activities like these are safe.
DO Confirm That Your Hotel’s WiFi Is on a Secure Connection
At most hotels, public areas usually have open Wi-Fi access. If your location requires no login to access Wifi it is more than likely an open connection and your information is at risk. Even if your location has a secure WiFi connection (meaning you need a password to access it) still be cautious of the information you access.
DO Learn to Identify Secure Web Pages
Never input personal information on unsecured websites on public WiFi. Websites starting with HTTPS:// instead of HTTP:// are secure and safer for browsing. Once you are connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi, avoid inputting your sensitive information on a website with a URL starting with HTTP://.
DO Use an Alternative Browser
When on a trip, always consider using an alternate browser than the one you typically use at home. If you typically surface using Chrome consider using Safari when away from home and don’t access any bookmarks with login details. If you don’t want to switch browsers, consider surfing in incognito mode when accessing web pages that don’t ask for login information.
DO Consider a Personal Wi-Fi Hotspot
This is another useful tactic people never consider cause they think it’s too expensive. Personal hotspots are super affordable to buy or rent and are great for international or domestic travel when you need wifi on the go. You can access the internet using a local SIM data card that you can buy at the airport upon arrival, at most electronic stores, and even online.
DO Be Wary of Shared PCs
Avoid shared computers often found in hotels and internet cafes. It is very dangerous to use a shared PC as your internet logs remain long after you have left. Only use public computers when accessing web pages that don’t require sensitive information like your logins, password, or financial data.
DO Protect Your Devices and Important Apps
Always password-protect all your devices– smartphones, computers, and tablets. Taking the extra step to password essential apps is a brilliant choice as well. Make your information safe by password protecting your financial apps and any other information you deem sensitive. If your device is ever lost or stolen, thieves can’t easily access this information, leaving you time to change important login details, freeze cards, or whatever else is necessary to protect your information.
DON’T Forget to Log Out
We’re always quick to log onto apps and websites but many of us forget to log out when we are done. Many people simply close the screen when they are done with an app or website but this does not log you out and your information can still be accessed by the next person. If you are going to use a public computer take the time to logout to protect your information.
Follow these tips on How To Protect Yourself Online When Using Public Wi-Fi and you’re information will remain safe and secure no matter where you travel.