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How To Stay Safe On Public Wi-Fi Hotspots?

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Friday, May 9th, 2014


The free-to-use Wi-Fi hotspots offer immense convenience plus they allow us to save money on our data plans. However, most of the public wireless networks are not secure which means your private data flows through them in an unencrypted manner and becomes available to hackers who are using the same network. Here are some safety tips to stay safe on public Wi-Fi hotspots:

1) Use A VPN – Using a VPN is unarguably one of the best methods to protect your wireless sessions from intrusion. A VPN is a secure technology that changes your IP address, encrypts your data and creates an impregnable tunnel of security around your web sessions so that your personal data and online activities cannot be stolen or compromised in any way. Here are some good VPN providers that guarantee 100% safety on Wi-Fi hotspots: VyprVPNExpressVPNHideMyAssBolehVPN, and IPVanish.

2) Avoid Automatic Connections – Most Smartphones and tablets can automatically detect and connect to available Wi-Fi networks. However, you should avoid connecting to new networks automatically so that your data remains safe from malicious programs and networks that are designed to steal personal information from unsuspecting Wi-Fi users.

3) Turn Off Sharing – As far as Wi-Fi security goes, this one is a no-brainer. While sharing allows you to access your files and devices like printers from a remote location, it could also enable hackers to steal your personal data without your knowledge. So before you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you should make it a point to disable file sharing, device sharing and remote login option by tweaking the sharing settings through System Preferences.

4) Use Anti-Virus and Firewall – If you regularly connect to unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots then it makes sense to protect your computer or mobile device with a firewall and anti-virus programs. Having these two programs would allow you to monitor inbound and outbound connections as well as prevent malicious programs from running on your devices. However, it must be kept in mind that using a firewall and anti-virus is not enough to prevent data theft, you need to use a privacy solution like a VPN along with these two security tools for total safety and privacy on a Wi-Fi network.

5) Verify The Network Name – Before connecting to a Wi-Fi network provided by a coffee shop, airport, mall or public park, you should always verify the official name of the network. A lot of hackers and criminals set up fake wireless networks with official sounding names to lure unsuspecting users into revealing their information so it is always a good practice to verify the official name of the network before connecting to it.

6) Use Secure Connections – Most email providers, shopping portals and social networks already use secure (HTTPS) connections but it is a good practice to use secured connections even for web browsing and other mundane activities. Using a secure connection would prevent snoopers and hackers from stealing your data. If you are not sure whether your favorite websites use a secure connection, you can use a plugin like “HTTPS Everywhere” to make all connections secure.


May 9, 2014
Comments
  1. Melonie Helm said on June 28, 2014 8:59 am:

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