Public wi-fi has become more accessible over the years. It is a positive move for students or professionals who wish to bring their work outside. Along with this valuable investment, you can expect that people will also misuse it for sinister gains. Connecting to public wi-fi will come with a substantial security risk.
If you go to a public cafe while traveling and use a public cafe wi-fi, you will have to take some precautionary steps. Public wi-fi is not always safe to use and is not always easy to avoid altogether. While the source of the wi-fi, i.e., the cafe, is not a risk in itself, you should be wary of anyone connected to it engaging in suspicious activity or attempting to hack your device. There may even be attempts to hack your wi-fi hidden camera containing sensitive information.
In this article, we will introduce you to some ways you can safeguard your devices and keep you safe on public wi-fi networks.
1. Secure your device
First and foremost, ensure that you have activated all available security measures and deactivate anything that can be a gateway to a breach on your device. This includes turning off sharing before you connect to wi-fi. Also, turn off auto-connect since a lot of smart devices are set to connect to the nearest wi-fi hotspot automatically. Disable this feature. Finally, remember to turn on your firewall. Your system will have a Built-In firewall that monitors traffic and blocks unauthorized users.
2. Use protected wi-fi
The smart move is to only connect to protected wi-fi with passwords or direct you to login pages to enter your details and receive free wi-fi. It is common to ask for the wi-fi password at the cafe you are at. Just try to avoid connecting to open ones to avoid confrontation by asking for the password.
You’ll be even further protected when you route your network to a more secure medium. You can achieve this with a VPN since it has the ability to route your internet traffic to and from a safe and private server. Even while choosing VPN, you must remain cautious. The best way is to opt for a premium VPN service with better and more reliable protective services.
4. Ensure that your device is updated.
This step is extremely crucial to keep your gadgets safe and protected. Always stay on the latest version of your device’s software and constantly check if your OS dropped a newer version for you to update. An updated software provides all the elements required in the software so that your mobile/laptop or any other device has access to maximum security while using public wi-fi.
5. Forget the network.
A good security practice is to always ‘forget’ the public wi-fi password once you’re done using it to avoid automatically connecting to it later on. It will prevent your device from connecting to the wi-fi without your knowledge.
6. Visit only HTTPs
HTTP retrieves content from the internet and facilitates data exchange on the internet. HTTP is non-encrypted and is best for activities like accessing public websites that do not require login information. Whereas HTTPs are secure and encrypt critical data, you upload online. Therefore, it is advised that you always run HTTPs website protocol, especially while using public wi-fi. Enable the always-on HTTPs option so that HTTP connections can convert to HTTPs. This will enable the browser you use to activate an encrypted HTTPs connection on websites that support the protocol.
7. Avoid money transactions.
During money transactions, you risk revealing a lot of confidential data, which is why avoiding this altogether is the best course of action. Despite all the methods available to use public wi-fi safely, you are still advised to refrain from making any financial transactions. These are best executed in the safest possible environment and wi-fi network, preferably in the comfort of your home.
To sum up
Secure your device by activating security measures like a firewall and preventing a breach by deactivating auto-connect and sharing for the time being. VPNs are extremely useful since it protects your network from a secure medium. Similarly, Your gadget is safer when it is updated to the latest software. It is advised to avoid free internet and connect to protected wi-fi and wi-fi that requires login details and always forget the wi-fi network after use. Furthermore, while browsing, only engage on HTTPs sites for better security. Even if you feel you have taken every measure to protect your device, you should still refrain from money transactions.
We hope this article has proven insightful to you and enables you to keep your gadgets safe and secure. Thank you for reading!