Public Wifi Hotspot is everywhere, we often use them without much care, doing online transactions & dealing with personal information. But how safe are they?
We’ve all been in a situation where we just had to check our phones be it a social media post or a burning question that only Google seemed to knew the answer. Nobody wants to pay for data overuse and so public wifi hotspots seem like the more reasonable, and affordable, option.
Security Tips using Public WiFi Hotspot
But, not all publicly available wifi networks are safe. So here is a guide on the top tips that you should follow to stay safe while using your laptop on public wifi hotspots.
I know all too well that it’s a hassle to constantly input your information onto the website time after time. This is especially true when adding passwords and shipping details while placing an order online.
Sadly, these cookies can give you an upset stomach
Using the one-click ease of cookies can be dangerous, especially when hooked on to public wifi hotspots. Try best to avoid using cookies on websites at all cost as these websites hold onto your personal information. It can then be shared with hackers and unwanted 3rd parties in the event of a digital malfunction such as being hacked or a system failure.
2. Avoid Personal Information Websites.
This tip coincides with the before mentioned tip that was described above. The danger of personal information websites is that other people using the same hotspot as you can get access to your private details.
What they can access?
There are some clever but dangerous people out there who can potentially hurt you in many ways that you might not even have thought about. These internet bullies have the ability to access your private details like where you live, work, bank account details and more.
Even your social profile or dating profile could be a potential target. A cyber jackass can create a fake profile to scam you, and people you know which can be classified under the term cat-fishing.
What websites should you avoid?
In short, while using a public wifi hotspot avoid websites that contain private and sensitive information. Websites like online banking accounts, Social media, email and any other web pages that have your detailed profile can be the target. Try your best to stick to general websites on the web that don’t involve you or what you do behind closed doors.
3. Turn off WiFi when not in use
This tip can be done in seconds with the swipe of a finger. Simply by disconnecting the wifi when not in use can put a protective barrier between you and the potential hacker.
To do this, all you need to do is go onto your wifi settings and then disconnect from the wifi hotspot by turning it off. The best part is that when you need to use the wifi again, all you have to do is swipe your finger back and reverse the process.
With the technology such as iCloud and Dropbox, it’s now easier than ever to share any file that you have on your device. From cute pictures of your dog to the important essay for your English class, all can be shared in an instant.
But, I’m sure that you don’t want everyone to see your files. So be extra cautious when sharing files using public wifi, or better don’t share them at all.
5. Update your Antivirus
Think of this next point as getting your annual flu shot at the doctor’s office. Each year, new viruses are born, new loopholes and bugs exploited. So your device should be ready to fight off these latest online threats.
So make sure that your antivirus program on your laptop is up to date or replaced with a better version. The bottom line is that for your laptop to be at its best, important security software should be updated.
If you want the best protection however…
But, sometimes the best software available on the market can only be installed and used on the latest laptops. If you don’t want to take that chance whatsoever, we highly recommend switching to a specialized laptop with great specs!
5. Be picky with the networks you choose.
Usually, when you try to join a public wifi hotspot you are introduced to more than just one wifi networks to choose from. You might be tempted to choose the wifi network that has the most bars or strongest system. But it’s important to remember that not all wifi networks are equal when it comes to personal safety.
What Networks should you Trust?
As a general rule of thumb, try to stick with clearly named and publicly available wifi networks linked to restaurants, bus stops and so forth.
If this statement doesn’t apply to you in your current situation, then try to trust your gut instincts on what you feel would be the safest wifi network to use.