Do you go to your local coffee shop to get some work done? Maybe check your bank statements or pay your bills…well…stop it! Public WiFi is inherently not secure and experts suggest holding off on making any financial transactions. There are people sitting around you “listening in” on your signal and the minute you sign into your bank’s website…they have your info.
Here are some quick safety tips from Norton Security, for connecting to free WiFi.
Do you open up your laptop or smartphone and immediately connects to a free hotspot? First tip, only connect to trusted networks. A word of caution, any mediocre hacker can set up a hotspot to lure you in and when you connect, there goes your personal information. Stick to hotspots you recognize, like those listed in public places that advertise free WiFi.
Which leads to our next tip, look for free WiFi accounts that require a login. It might be bothersome to ask a clerk for a password but it’s way more secure than being able to connect instantly to a hotspot. Even places that direct you to a secure agreement page before granting you access to the internet is safer than a network without any security.
Lastly, your smartphone is a big access point for hackers too. Many people have their smart phones automatically set to connect to open WiFi accounts, sure it can save you minutes or data and even faster downloading but that leaves your personal information vulnerable for any cybercriminal to snatch! Turn off your automatic connection or if your phone has the option, change the settings to connect only to secure hotspots you’ve already logged onto.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you connect to some random free WiFi and your personal data stays…well…personal.