In the recent years, dependency on internet connectivity has increased manifold. People want to stay connected to internet 24X7, be it at their offices, colleges, airports, hotels or even coffee shops. Seeing this rising trend, many public places are now offering free Wi-Fi hotspots to attract more customers. Most of these don’t even require passwords, one just needs to connect to the hotspot and start browsing the internet.
Though ‘free-Wi-Fi’ may sound appealing, but if not wisely used, it may expose the sensitive data of your device to cyber-criminals. To avoid connecting to fake wireless networks, also known as ‘Wi-Fi honeypots”, you must be aware of whose network you are connecting to. Here are some rules that you must consider.
Avoid Connecting To Wi-Fi Networks That Require No Passwords
A good thumb rule is to never connect to a wireless network that doesn’t ask you to enter any password. A network without WPA or WPA2 password is termed as an unsecure network. Connecting to these may easily make your personal information, contacts, photos, logins and other data in your phone/laptop vulnerable to hackers.
Turn Wi-Fi Off When Not In Use
When you are not using the internet, disable the Wi-Fi on your device. This will not only keep your data safe, but will also increase the battery life of your system. Ensure that the option to automatically connect to an available Wi-Fi network is turned off.
Do Not Perform Sensitive Or Financial Tasks When Using Public Wi-Fi
It is strongly recommended not to access online banking websites or perform any financial transactions (such as on online shopping websites, bill payments etc.) on open networks. Through Wi-Fi snooping and sniffing techniques, hackers may gain access to all your online activities and capture your login credentials. If you need to perform any urgent transaction, you can always opt to use your mobile internet connection.
Disable Public Sharing
Laptops and similar devices usually have an option to share their resources within the same network. If you are using such devices, make sure that the ‘’File and Printer Sharing’ option is turned off before you connect to a public Wi-Fi. Not doing so may provide hacker easy get access to important files and documents stored in the cloud as well as in other connected devices.
Connect To Websites That Open With HTTPS
Whenever you open a website on a public Wi-Fi, check if the address bar shows “https://“at the beginning of the web address. Such websites are relatively secure as all the communication is encrypted. Browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera provide certain extensions that help to encrypt the data i.e. by default provide secure connection while browsing.
For more information about public Wi-Fi security, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.