How To Stay Secure While Using Public Wi-Fi: Our Top Tips
Whether you’re at the local library, your nearest Starbucks, a hotel, or anywhere else that offers free, public Wi-Fi, you may be wondering – how can I protect myself? By nature, public Wi-Fi networks are less secure than your home network, because anyone can use them. So in this article, we’ll discuss a few simple tips you can use to stay secure, even on a public network.
Stick To Well-Known Networks – Don’t Connect Randomly!
If you’re in a Starbucks, you should connect to the Starbucks WiFi network – not some other open, random WiFi network. The same is true in hotels, libraries, and other areas.
If you’re not sure which WiFi network is the official network offered by the building you’re in, ask a staff member.
A Wi-Fi network from a well-known chain or a place where you’ve been multiple times is more likely to be safe than a network you’ve never seen before.
Stick To HTTPS Sites When Possible
HTTPS stands for HTTP Secure. In some browsers like Chrome and Firefox, you may see an icon in your address bar with a lock. This indicates the site is using HTTPS, which encrypts your web traffic to make it impossible to snoop on your activity.
If a website does not use HTTPS, it may be possible for others on your network to see what you’re doing, which means you’re less secure. Stick to HTTPS websites on public Wi-Fi networks whenever possible.
Don’t Use Public Networks For Sensitive Transactions
Even if you’re on a network you think is safe and secure, you should avoid using it to do things like sign into financial accounts and transfer cash, and other such things that could reveal your personal or financial data. It’s better to do these things at home, in the protection of your own network.
Use A VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A VPN essentially creates an encrypted “tunnel” between your computer and server provided by the VPN company. All your network traffic goes through this “tunnel,” which is encrypted and protected from prying eyes. By using a VPN, you can secure all of your activity on public networks. You can learn more about VPNs and how they work here.
Keep Yourself Safe Wherever You Are With These Tips!
By following these tips from West County Computers, you can keep your personal information safe wherever you are – even when using a public WiFi connection. Stay safe, and make sure your data is protected while you’re computing. Want reassurance you’re secure? Reach out to West County Computers today for a computer health check-up.