Tips for Public WiFi Hotspot Security

Out there in the coffee shops, restaurants, airplanes, hotels, public transports, and universities, what excites us the most is the public Wi-Fi hotspots. Without thinking even once, we connect and start the tip-tap. According to a survey, people are so addicted to public Wifi that they do not care if it can be detrimental to them. More than half of the people feel safe while using them and public hotspots are a hacker’s paradise. We can save ourselves from the damage by using some simple tips:

1- Don’t get confused between similar networks

You may see several systems that are almost similar but don’t share the same name. For example,  openterrace versus openterraces. Hackers may be trying scamming to get the personal information.

Don’t get confused and pick the wrong network, always go for the right one. Take time to choose the legitimate network.

2- Go for a secure network

When you got a free WiFi to log in, try to go for the locked ones, Networks that are locked are usually more secure than those that are not. In iPhone, if you choose an unsecured network, you will get a warning indicating ‘Security recommendations.’ Some networks don’t show the lock because they have “Walled Garden” security, you need to log in through a browser to get access to the internet. Hotspots with a transparent network and passwords are better than the unprotected ones.

3- Turn off the Sharing

You may share files and allow automatic login from other computers when you are home. But when you are on a public network, you need to turn off these things as anyone can easily access them. They don’t even need to be a hacker for this. Turn off your network discovery, turn off file and printer sharing.

4- Go for SSL and HTTPS

Most of the online retailers and financial institutions use SSL and HTTPS on their websites to make your connection more secure. They ensure a modicum of encrypted communications. Most of the websites also use HTTPS, PCMag.com is one of them. You can quickly tell if the site you are on uses HTTPS. Try getting the HTTPS Everywhere extension for Chrome, Firefox or Opera.

There are a lot of other things also which you can do like setting up a SOCKS proxy etc. But using some simple tips will be fruitful as well.

James Thomas is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, James has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup.

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