6 WiFi Security Tips to Stay Safe on Public Networks
It seems today that you can hop on free public WiFi just about anywhere. The grocery store, a local coffee shop and even your doctor’s office. However, as the number of free public WiFi hotspots grows, so does the concern over protecting your information. It has become easier than ever for hackers to gain access to your personal information through unsecure networks. Taking a few simple precautions can help to ensure total WiFi security and a safer browsing experience.
First and foremost, ensure that your firewall is turned on as it is your first line of defense. It is also crucial to keep your operating system and anti-virus software up to date. Keeping your system up to date can help keep hackers out, while holes in the system that have not been patched leave an open door to your information. Most modern anti-virus programs can alert you if there is any suspicious behavior on your device.
Before you initialize a WiFi connection, confirm the network name you are connecting to. Hackers have been known to set up fake WiFi networks to attract unknowing users. Also be sure to avoid automatically connecting to WiFi hotspots as you may automatically connect to a malicious network that can infect your system and steal your information.
Avoid banking on public WiFi networks. Your account information is not something that you want to share with prying eyes. While browsing the internet, create an encrypted connection by typing https instead of http before your web address. It will help to ensure that any data transfers are safe, as long as the website supports it.
Make sure that your passwords are protected and unique. Keeping track of multiple passwords can be a pain, but password managers like Dashlane can simplify the process while helping to keep your system secure. Also consider using two-factor authentication for logging in to specific accounts when it is available (typically for a two-factor authentication you will enter your password and a code will be sent to your mobile device, the mobile code will need to be entered to log in to the site.) Two factor authentications can help to protect you even if your password is compromised due to a security flaw.
At home you may share multiple devices on your private home WiFi network, but it is important to disable sharing features before you connect to a public WiFi hotspot to prevent a hacker from getting into your device.
You may also want to think about utilizing a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN will route all of your traffic through a secure network even when you are utilizing public WiFi. A VPN provides many of the security perks of a private network.
Free public WiFi is convenient in today’s world, just make sure that when you connect you are being safe by using these WiFi security tips. You don’t want an unexplained $400 purchase from Best Buy showing up on your bank account. A little common sense and the above WiFi security precautions can help keep you and your information safe while surfing the web on public WiFi hotspots.
If you have additional questions or feel that your system has been compromised, contact Re-Bit Technology for immediate support.
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