Accessing the internet when you are in the comfort of your own home isn’t a problem. Indeed, you know it is a safe connection as it is password protected and you know who is connected to it. On the contrary, when you connect to a public WiFi, many risks can occur as you don’t know who set up the network and what data of yours is being collected. As more and more places are offering a public connection, it is important to define what is generally secure and what, on the other hand, is clearly fishy. So, keep reading to learn our tips on what to do when using a public internet network.
Stick to known networks
Since nowadays there is a large number of open WiFi networks, especially in big cities, it is common sense to use the ones that are related to known brands or places, such as coffee shops or shopping centers. Because these places already sell their own products, they are considered less sketchy as they simply provide a public internet connection to keep you in the store/location. On the other hand, public WiFis that have unfamiliar names and aren’t linked to stores feel shadier. Why are they providing free internet if you are not buying anything from them? This is what you should be asking yourself.
Our tip is to stick to networks associated with known names/places in order to avoid having your data stolen from you.
As Google Chrome lets us know, HTTP websites are “not secure”. So, make sure to only use HTTPS which is encrypted. When you use HTTPS, people on the same network cannot access the data you are sharing with the server, while this can happen if you connect to HTTP webpages.
Use a VPN
Using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN is extremely useful when logging into a public WiFi. Why? Because it encrypts your data which makes it exceptionally difficult for people on the network to interfere with your web actions.
Don’t share too much
Most public networks will ask you to sign in, so expect to have to share at least your full name and email address. However, be aware of what it’s okay to share and whatnot. Our advice is never to share your social security number nor your bank account information.
Use an Antivirus
The last tip might be obvious to most people; however, it is important to remember that the best option to stay safe is by using antivirus software. The latter protects your devices from malware and cyber-attacks of any sort.