8 Simple Rules to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks
Public Wi-Fi is a symbol of happy life. If you have free Internet it is impossible not to use it, right? But you should remember: the opportunity to be all the time online may cost too much for you. Maybe not all of you know for sure what are the dangers of “WiFi Free Zone”?
The security of a public Wi-Fi is a subject for discussions in the society. Supporters of democratization (read, free Internet) ask for the open access because it makes life easier. For example, you may study with online educational resources in the University, find out information about any goods when you are in a mall, check email or chat with friends on social networks when visiting a cafe or a restaurant or simply share a photo via Instagram…
But do not forget that there is an other side of the coin. For example, hot spots can be organized by hackers to get access to users ‘ personal information. Anonymizers (special programs that hides IP) can be used by terrorist organizations. We remember the tragedy that happened in Paris on November, 13: after the terrorist attacks the government decided to ban the public Wi-Fi and Tor network. Later the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared no ban.
To use or not to use the public Wi-Fi is a decision that you make by yourself. We have 8 useful rules for you, following which you will be able to protect your personal data from cybercrime.
- If you are using a public Wi-Fi try not to type passwords to your personal accounts and credit card numbers. Attackers can view this information, as well as the content of private messages sent by you.
- In order to protect the entrance to your accounts use two-factor authentication: first you enter your password, then a secret code received in the SMS message.
- Protect your passwords: generate individual passwords for each of your accounts, make sure that they had a high degree of reliability (use special services, such as Strong Password Generator, Secure Password Generator etc., for this purpose), store your passwords in such managers, as KeePass or LastPass.
- Make sure that connection to your PC from another device must been cancelled. If your computer is running Windows you can disable this option going to the Control Panel -> Network and Internet menu.
- Use VPN connect to Wi-Fi; in this case all the traffic passes through the secure network.
- Cancel the automatic connection to Wi-Fi. In this case, you will be able to choose the network to connect, selecting only those, the quality of which is assured
- Carefully check the name of the Wi-Fi network all time you want to use Wi-Fi. For example, being in McDonalds you can see several similar names like MCDONALDS Free, MC_DONALDS etc, but the official network is only one – MCDONALDS. The other networks may be created by hackers.
- Do not forget about anti-virus. This program sends you a notification if someone tries to edit your system files and gives you a signal if you are trying to connect the dangerous network.
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