Cybersecurity Tip: Public Wi-Fi Best Practices
Staying Safe While Staying Connected
In today's fast-paced world, staying connected is more important than ever. Whether you're traveling for work or just catching up on some emails during your lunch break, accessing public Wi-Fi is often the most convenient option. However, it's important to be aware of the risks associated with using public Wi-Fi and take steps to protect yourself. In this post, we'll share some best practices for using public Wi-Fi safely.
The Risks of Public Wi-Fi
Accessing public Wi-Fi leaves you vulnerable to having your activity monitored, intercepted, and even having your device directly compromised. Hackers can use their own hardware to create fake "guest" Wi-Fi networks that would give them access to any device linking to it. Not only can your interaction potentially be viewed and manipulated by a fraudster lurking on a public network, but you also don’t have any assurances that the network itself is legitimate.
Best Practices for Using Public Wi-Fi
If possible, instead of using a public network, use a personal hotspot or wait until you are connected to a verified network. This can significantly reduce the risks associated with using public Wi-Fi.
Depending on where you are, public Wi-Fi may be your only option. In those situations, updated firewalls can add an additional layer of protection. Make sure your firewall is up to date before accessing any public Wi-Fi networks.
Even with additional protections in place, treat public Wi-Fi as though you were reading any information you access or input into it aloud. If you would not be comfortable relaying that information verbally to strangers, you should not be using public Wi-Fi to do it.
A VPN (virtual private network) is a software application that encrypts your Internet connection and helps protect your privacy and online activity. It can be a great way to add an extra layer of security when using public Wi-Fi.
When your device automatically connects to a Wi-Fi network, it can put you at risk without you even realizing it. Make sure to disable this feature on your device and only connect to Wi-Fi networks manually.
While public Wi-Fi is convenient, it's important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself. By using these best practices, you can stay connected while mitigating risk to your personal and financial information. Remember, taking a few extra minutes to protect yourself is always worth it in the long run.
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