Be Careful with Public Wifi


Be Careful with Public Wifi

Free Wi-Fi is great! It allows you to connect to the internet without using your data when you are out and about. Many coffee shops and restaurants offer free public Wi-Fi to encourage customers to linger, but free public Wi-Fi also has some dangers you should be aware of. The point of a free open Wi-Fi network is that anyone can jump on and use it which is convenient, but you need to keep in mind that anyone can use the network and information that your computer is sending and receiving can be seen by anyone else on the network. So here are some tips to help you stay safe when using public Wi-Fi.

 

  1. Don’t access anything you need a password for or use your credit card when on public Wi-Fi. Hackers can record the information for your email or online shopping accounts and then gather information from them. This is how many identity thieves gather information about you either by watching you on a real network or creating a fake network that they control.

 

  1. Don’t let your mobile device automatically connect to nearby Wi-Fi. It might connect you to a fake network that gives someone a way into your information and drains your battery. You can find a way to turn this feature off in your device’s settings. If you use an iPhone: launch the Settings app, tap on Wi-Fi, and switch the “auto-join” tab to off. If you’re using an Android device: go to Settings, Wireless, Wi-Fi, press the Menu button, choose “Advanced,” and then disable the “Network Notification” option.

 

  1. If you need to use the internet while out and about consider adding a data plan to your phone which will let you surf but be aware that there is a cost to this. If public Wi-Fi is your only option for checking email or taking care of tasks then consider investing in a VPN ap. VPN stands for virtual private network, and there are many services out there that you can use with apps for smartphones and computers. This program encrypts your information while you are using the internet and keeps others on the same network from seeing what you are doing. But be careful when choosing your VPN provider and read their privacy policy carefully to make sure they aren’t selling your information.

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