10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PUBLIC WI-FI USE

First, I’d like to say a big thank you to the folks here at seotechyworld for letting me guest post. I’ve become a fan of the site ever since I read this article on tracked emails.

Wi-Fi security has become a popular subject due to the easy availability and misuse of public Wi-Fi.

I would like to talk about the precautions you should be taking every time you even think about connecting to these sorts of networks.

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Falling victim to Wi-Fi scams is a lot more common in today’s technology driven world, the last thing you need is finding out someone in another country or state is using your identity.

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PUBLIC WI-FI USE

Wi-Fi Misuse and Intrusions

Did you know that someone could easily stream your screen just from connecting to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network?

Believe it or not this type of situation happens daily and can cause you a lot of harm. Having private information leaked to strangers can be one of the worst feelings ever.

Public Wi-Fi hacking has gotten popular over time as these networks are hubs for hackers as they can mask themselves and blend in with the crowd.

It is up to you to stop this sort of thing from happening, so take the time to research.

Virtual Private Networks

Having this tool in your arsenal will provide you the type of security that can stop a hacker right in his tracks.

What it does is basically encrypt your own personal connection to the Wi-Fi network allowing you to now become invisible to every single user connected.

Having a powerful 256-bit AES encrypted connection will not only hide you but scramble all your personal information that could potentially be seen by others, once you disconnect from the network it all becomes visible once again.

You can even access country-censored or admin-restricted content without them knowing.

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Firewalls

With the basic built in firewall on your windows operating system can get you more than enough protection if configured correctly. This warns the user about malicious bugs or possible human invasions that might have gotten in your system without consent.

There are multiple third party programs available on the market and some are said be extremely good, but they are also really confusing for the average user.

Taking the time to set one of these up might be a bit of a pain as it might not have many tutorials online.

Business Transactions

There are many websites and applications dedicated to money transfer for digital purchases.

Try to stay away from any online shopping or business transactions when connected to unsecure public network.

If someone was watching you over a streamed connection or tunneled into your system and was currently recording your inputs you can leak very personal information.

The worst thing that can happen is to wake up to a bank account or PayPal wiped by a criminal when traveling.

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Mobile Devices

Using mobile devices can be unreliable and somewhat dangerous when connecting to public Wi-Fi.

The problem lies within the browser, as it does not warn you about HTTPS: sites for surfing securely. Having a mobile device will also allow for easier access since it does not have a strong security shield compared to computers.

It is recommended to use a mobile virtual private network when traveling with a mobile device and connecting to such networks.

Never do transfers of bank accounts or use programs like PayPal for whatever reason because they hold incredibly personal information.

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Anti-Virus

With the highly competitive online security market, there are many programs available for personal security.

Take the time to research through the available programs as most anti-virus software tend to boast about unique features and one might catch your eye more than another.

With a solid anti-virus you can now keep malware and invaders from potentially entering your system and spying on you. You also get warnings on potentially dangerous sites that might be known for their malicious actions.

Most anti-viruses come with a scanning system so you can scan all attachments downloaded, it’s wise to scan anything you receive from others.

Email Security

When sitting at the local café or school library and using their unsecured Wi-Fi network try not to connect or log in to emails.

If using a public computer, you could possibly forget to logout and give the next user free access to vital information.

When connecting from your own source, it can still be unsafe, as this is the type of sites hackers look for.

Most users have an incredible amount of information sitting around on their emails, pictures, bank statements, PayPal numbers, and much more.

If for some reason you must connect to an email service on a public network, make sure to change the password once you arrive at home and on a secure network.

There are many sites that can help you come up with complex passwords just in case you are like me and have a hard time with this subject.

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Secure Connections, Ask Twice

Have you ever walked around town and seen many Wi-Fi hotspots appear on your mobile device?

This is because of the ever growing trend and lure restaurants have to make clients comfortable. This can be a good idea but at the same time this makes Wi-Fi scams even more possible.

A user can create an open network called “Pizza Wi-Fi” and you might be fooled into thinking it’s the local restaurant.

If you connect to these luring networks you can potentially have information ripped from your system. Make sure to ask the location or business to double check if the network truly is theirs.

Falling victim to these types of scams can be difficult to understand as it can be untraceable.

File Sharing

When entering any crowded area it is best to shut off all file sharing options, most don’t even know these options even exist.

Public Wi-Fi networks can be dangerous if you provide a front door into your system like an open Bluetooth or Network Discovery.

There are many guides on how to shut these off easily, take the time to remember them and always turn them off when traveling or connecting to unsecured sources.

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HTTPS Secured Sites

What is a HTTPS site? Well this means it is a verified website that is secure of public use. You can easily read the URL at the top of the address bar to see what sites start with HTTPS.

For users wanting to make things a little easier for themselves you can use the Google Chrome browser as it provides easier visual identification.

When websites are known to be secure you will be able to see a bright green lock indicating security, if you see anything else attempt to stay away from it on a public network.

Connecting to non HTTPS secured sites can be risky on public networks as you do not have the added protection and can possibly reveal information.

If you are willing to get a little risky and want to browse unsecured sites it is highly recommended that you use all precautions and all security possible in your arsenal.

I hope you find some helpful tips for the next time you go out and connect to a public network.

Not everyone wants to scam someone out of their information, but you still need to keep your guard up as you never know who to trust.

Comments
  1. Manoj

    Hi Cassie,

    This is such a comprehensive guide. I have some concerns. I have read at some places that wi-fi could be harmful to the brain. Is it true?

    Thanks
    Manoj

  2. Caroline Black

    Manoj, I have read that too. I am not sure I believe it though.

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