How to stay safe while using public Wi-Fi
1. Turn off sharing
At home, your sharing setting may be on to share music, documents, pictures, etc. While on a public network, have this on is a bad idea. Sharing can allow hackers to access your computer and retrieve your personal information.
2. Get a VPN
VPN stands for virtual private network. It sends your web traffic through a secure network while it is still connected to a public Wi-Fi network. There are free VPN services available, but paid options provide more security; especially if you frequently connect to unknown networks.
3. Avoid automatically connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots
Automatically connecting to networks can be convenient, but your device is connecting to public networks without your permission. When this happens, you run the risk of being automatically connected to malicious networks that are designed to steal your information.
4. Use HTTPS
Hypertext transfer protocol secure, is used by many websites to encrypt transfer data. To create this encryption yourself, you can use the browser extension HTTPS everywhere. This will help keep your data from being seen by the wrong person.
5. Use Two-factor authentication
Using two-factor authentication is becoming the future of authentication and a very smart move to make. It adds an extra layer of protection on sites you use that may otherwise be easy for others to hack.
6. Confirm the network name
If you are using the Wi-Fi at a local shop or business, it is always safe to ask what the name of the network is to be sure that you don’t connect to a fake network.
7. Turn on your firewall
Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing connections. They are great at protecting your systems from software that may negatively affect it.
8. Run anti-virus software
Always having an up-to-date anti-virus software, can alert you as soon as your device is introduced to a virus. Depending on your software, it may not catch all activity, but it will protect you from most.