Today almost all people use Wi-Fi internet while on the go. They check out the latest news, transport schedules, watch videos and even conduct business while moving. In some places, the internet coverage can be limited and not all people have mobile data turned on their smartphones to do what they intend to do. That is why many of them are using public Wi-Fi hotspots where they freely connect online and do their browsing. However, many Wi-Fi spots are not safe to use because of many dangers. Free internet is great, but that also attracts hackers and other people that want to take advantage of innocent people and steal their sensitive information. Also public Wi-Fi connection puts your smartphone or laptop in insecure position. You should try to avoid using Wi-Fi hotspots wherever you can, but if you must do it, then we have prepared some advice for you how to stay safe.
What Are Public Wi-Fi Spots And Where Are They Located?
Free Wi-Fi spots are locations in public spaces where you can log on online and do your surfing, watch videos, youtube mp3 videos and do many other things free of charge. This service is usually provided by governments, commercial organizations and different types of businesses. Wi-Fi hotspots are also available at airports, bus terminals, large shopping malls, train stations, libraries, cafes, restaurants, etc. Always be careful when using such public spaces to connect online because your private data may be compromised and then there is nothing you can do about it other to report to authorities.
How to Secure Your Data When Using Public Wi-Fi Spots
The safest and simplest way to secure your data when surfing online on public Wi-Fi network is to use a Virtual Private Network or VPN. The VPN software will mask your IP address and location and will protect your sensitive data. Today you have many quality VPN software available, most of them very affordable to use, so it is advisable you purchase one and install it on your smartphone and laptop. You can set it to start automatically every time you connect to a public Wi-Fi spot.
Another thing to keep in mind while surfing on public networks is to always connect to websites that have https in front of their address instead of http. If you see https that means the website is safe to use and that your private information is kept safe. You can rest assured that your session is encrypted when visiting https websites, so when you login to certain websites your username and passwords cannot be accessed by nobody else except you. Therefore, visit https websites only while on public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Be aware that sometimes hackers are setting their own hotspot close to the public hotspot where most people join the network. They often use similar names in order to confuse users and make them make mistake and join their network. After they do so, their data can be easily compromised and stolen by people with bad intentions. That is why you are advised to always check carefully the name of the public Wi-Fi hotspot and see whether there is something strange in the name or address. Make sure there are no two internet access points with similar names. If you notice that something is off then you should definitely avoid going online on that spot and look elsewhere.
When you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, a good idea is to turn off the option for file sharing in your smartphone’s system preference or in the control panel of your computer. Never use file transfer option or some other options for sharing files unless you are using virtual private network. If that option is turned on you are exposing your smartphone or computer to hackers and risk your identity and other sensitive information being stolen.
This was some general information for you to consider every time you connect to a public Wi-Fi network. Make sure you follow the security steps mentioned here and you will definitely avoid numerous problems. Avoid logging in to public internet networks or use VPN if you must, in order to stay safe while surfing.