How to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi

public wifi safety

Public Wi-Fi connections provide free access to the internet, allowing you to stay connected while away from home. However, using public Wi-Fi can be risky, as any personal details and sensitive information sent over an unsecured wireless connection could be intercepted by other people using the same network. If you intend to use public Wi-Fi connections, there are a few precautions you should take to keep your device and data safe.

Keep Updated

Software updates provide the newest patches to protect against security threats, so it’s crucial to keep your operating system, software and apps up to date. Ideally, you should be using the auto-update option on all computers and devices with internet access. Elevated Technologies provides IT management of mobile devices along with laptops, desktops, servers, etc.

Install Security Software

A firewall is essential for all computers, but a good all-around security system should also protect against viruses and spyware. For mobile phones and other devices, there are many free security apps available from reputable companies, such as McAfee, AVG and Avast.

Tweak Your Settings

Turn off file and printer sharing before connecting to public Wi-Fi. Most computers will do this automatically if you set up the Wi-Fi connection as a public network. Most mobile phones, tablets and other devices also offer extra protection for public Wi-Fi connections, but these security options vary greatly from one device to the next.

Add Extensions and Privacy Apps

Browser extensions like AdBlock Plus, Ghostery and Privacy Badger can help to protect privacy and keep your data secure. For mobile phones and other devices, Ghostery Privacy Browser and Firefox Focus offer enhanced privacy protection when browsing the internet.

Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) enables you to route all of your online activities through a private and secure network. The easiest way to set up a VPN is by using a service, such as IPVanish, TunnelBear or ExpressVPN. You can also set up your own VPN, but this can be complicated, so it’s important to do plenty of research before attempting to create your own private network.  Let us assist with setting us your secure company VPN for traveling devices!

Use Extra Security Measures

Many websites now use secure connections (HTTPS), but some older websites still use unsecured connections (HTTP), so it’s important to look at the address bar to make sure that you are accessing a secure website, especially if you intend to enter sensitive information, such as usernames or passwords. Whenever possible, use two-step security settings for your email and other personal accounts, as this will provide an extra layer of protection.

Public Wi-Fi is a convenient and free way to access your online accounts, but it also leaves your data vulnerable to hackers. Taking a few precautions will help to secure your computer and devices, but you still need to be careful when entering sensitive information. In particular, you should avoid accessing your bank, credit card or other financial accounts through public Wi-Fi.  Contact Us Today for a no-cost IT Security Assessment of your IT Network and Devices!