Using WIFI on the go
Oh, the sweet lure of public Wi-Fi. It’s public, it’s free and it lets you check your social media networks without wasting your mobile data. Don’t you just love businesses that offer free Wi-Fi? However, before you connect to a free Wi-Fi network, you should consider the dangers that come with public hotspots.
Since a free and public network is open, it can be easily accessed by snoopers. The network itself might even be provided by those with malicious intent. Public Wi-Fi networks are not encrypted, which makes them visible to everyone that is in range. Every unencrypted activity you do can be viewed by others – even what you type into Web forms or log in to your bank accounts.
There are ways to stay safe when surfing the Web away from home. Follow these tips to ensure safer, more secure online access!
If possible, try not to connect to open/unsecured networks. Ideally, ask whatever business is providing the network if they have a Wi-Fi password for a “locked” version. Some do, but most companies will leave their Wi-Fi unsecured for easy access to the Internet. If you must connect to an open/unsecured connection, make sure to enable your firewall and turn off file sharing. Furthermore, if possible, always visit the secure version of Web sites by typing “https” before the address. This will ensure that any traffic between your computer or mobile device and the site remains encrypted.
For ultimate security, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will encrypt your data so your activities stay safe even if you are on public Wi-Fi. It may sound complicated, but there are many solutions that make it easy to set up (if you are unsure, call us at MCC Technology for help)! With this in mind, do not use public access to go to sites requiring passwords, and do not make purchases or visit your bank site – wait until you can access a secure network.
Another more secure option to get online while out and about is to use your phone’s LTE network. Our cellular carrier’s data via LTE, 4G or 5G are inherently safer to use, as this data is encrypted and your identity is authenticated and protected. If you plan to do regular business when you are on the go, it might be worth upgrading to an unlimited data plan – depending on local cellular availability, you are generally covered by an LTE network, whereas it can be more difficult to find Wi-Fi access away from home, especially when traveling.
Using a few simple steps and a couple of tricks, staying safe while using free Wi-Fi can be easy. Putting some safeguards in place and being aware of the risks is the way to ensure security while on the go!