Stay Safe on Public Wifi

We all like something for nothing, and free wifi is no exception.

Maybe you like to peruse the news over a coffee, or post some pics on a night out.  Just be aware that like most things free of charge, there are some things to watch out for in order to keep you safe.

Using a common sense approach is a good place to start. For example, don’t log on to your personal banking using the free wifi while you’re out and about or in a hotel room. Save that kind of important stuff until you get home.

When you’re in the warm snugly safety of your own wireless network, you have it all to yourself. Out in public though, there is no way of knowing how many other people might be using the same connection as you, and therefore lurking on the same network waiting for some juicy data.

Use these five rules whenever you use a public hotspot to reduce the risks:

  • Do NOT allow your wifi to auto-connect to a network.  Ok your coffee shop wireless network might be safe today, but what is stopping a ruthless hacker setting up a network with the same name?  That’s right, nothing. You don’t want to be auto-connecting to Harry Hacker’s Virus Emporium wifi when you innocently walk past, just because he named it ‘Starbucks Free Wifi’.
  • Turn your Wifi and Bluetooth off when they’re not in use.  Leaving them on is like leaving your front door open. It’s just daft.
  • Never ever connect to a network that has no password.  If they can’t even secure their own network, there’s no chance of your data or photos being secure.
  • Ensure your antivirus software and operating system are fully up to date.  If you’re unsure about this, one of our basic health checks can cover it for you.
  • Disable file sharing.  You don’t want everyone else on the network to have access to your files do you? If you don’t know how to do this, there is more info here

Stay safe and worry free by sticking to these fairly simple rules.

Happy surfing!