Is that Wi-Fi network really safe?

 In Security

Wi-Fi internet connections are everywhere these days, but do you really know how safe they are for you?  While connecting is fun and useful, these services like anything else, warrants caution.  It is predicted that by 2018 there will be over 10 billion mobile connected devices in the world.  This will exceed the also predicted world population!

You should be cautious when using public Wi-Fi Networks:

  • Airports and on Airplanes
  • Bus Stations and on Buses
  • Train Stations and on Trains
  • Coffee Shops

Safe public Wi-Fi is actually a fallacy.  There are risks involved in using public Wi-Fi, but if you take steps to safeguard your personal information it will decrease your risk.  Using a good password consisting of letters; both upper and lower case, numbers and punctuation or characters should be utilized.  The best places to use a public Wi-Fi Network has been found to be:

  • Your work or office
  • Your home or the home of a friend or family member

Before you connect to any Wi-Fi Network:

  • Confirm the Wi-Fi Network name with the manager of the establishment
  • Turn off “Sharing” on your phone. IPhones have an “Airdrop” option; make sure it is off.
  • Use HTTPS websites; they are more secure.
  • Have your Firewall on. If you don’t have one; consider adding one to your device.
  • Periodically run Anti-Virus software on your device.
  • Do not set your device to automatically connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Don’t store passwords on your device.

Since most public Wi-Fi Networks are unsecure, here are some things that you absolutely should not do:

  • Conduct financial transactions
  • Send sensitive emails
  • Send sensitive text messages
  • Access confidential information from your workplace

 

Information credits: Department of Homeland Security https://www.dhs.gov/   and the National Cyber Security Alliance https://staysafeonline.org/
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