Avoid the Risks of Public WiFi
We all expect to have access to the internet and our data everywhere we go, its our right to a free connection isn’t it? We now expect it at every hotel we visit, every restaurant we dine out in hell even on public transport we need it. But is public accessible WiFi really that secure, do we as users actually care?
What are the Risks of Public WiFi Hotspots
When most people look for a FREE WiFi connection we want a painless easy connection were we don’t have to put in many if any details to gain access, funnily enough so is a hacker who wants your data. The boom in FREE WiFi Hotspots really has presented an amazing opportunity for hackers, easy access to a network with plenty of unsuspecting users and pretty much unrestricted access to any machines that are not properly secured.
Its pretty easy for a hacker to place them self in between you and the WiFi point which means everything your send out from your computer/phone/tablet has to pass straight through them before going out into the big wide world, lets just think about that??? Your facebook credentials, banking login, email logins? Bet your reading this thinking oh I only accessed the bank for a minute, the scary thing is all that data is collected and the lovely hacker can use it at their leisure.
If the threat of having all your information being stolen isn’t enough what if the hacker decided to drop a malicious program on your machine further stealing information or causing data loss? I think that we can expect more and more security issue rising from the still growing usage of public hotspots.
The good news is being a bit more aware of what your doing can save you alot of pain in the future, here are our Top recommends for keeping yourself safe.
Password and Sharing Settings Off
Make sure that your device is secured with a password and that all sharing settings are turned off for any network you don’t know, pretty basic but hey I’ve seen this overlooked a million times! Windows is very helpful nowadays every time you connect to a new network it will ask what type of network it is ALWAYS pick “Public” this limits its connectivity and makes it more difficult for other devices to connect to your machine.
Try sticking to using only secure connected websites? To know if a site is secure it should display a padlock in the top corner – yes just like the one on Amazon when you purchase those new slippers, these padlocks provide a layer of security between your machine and the website your viewing, thanks to google most websites are now SSL protected as standard BUT not all are.
Seems like another obvious one but make sure you have Antivirus and malware protection in place and check it regularly to make sure its up to date and is performing a scan at least once a day. Windows 10 comes with their own Antivirus product, it will give you some protection but I totally recommend a branded vendor who specialises in security like GFI Vipre or Bitdefender.
Use a VPN
VPN’s have boomed in recent months and I would highly recommend getting yourself a reputable VPN connection service, I have been recommending NORDVPN, its crazy affordable and can provide a really decent layer of protection to all of your internet traffic from your devices, I’ve tested it on several phones, tablets and PC’s and I’m still impressed.