Public Wi-Fi networks continue to proliferate, whether it’s at the local café, a city-wide connectivity system, or hotspots provided by your phone provider. When you’re away from home, you’re more and more likely to see a high-speed network, particularly in urban areas.
However, accessing the network typically necessitates the disclosure of any sensitive information. If you’ve linked, you’ll almost certainly find yourself sharing the network with a slew of other users, some of whom might be curious about your online activities.
This is not at all appealing to the general public as their personal information is being compromised. In this post, we’ll discuss how to use a public Wi-Fi network while still protecting your personal information.
Awareness of the vulnerabilities and risks
Since you have to share it with hundreds of strangers rather than a couple of people you know and trust, public Wi-Fi is less reliable than your private network at home. So, if you want to be completely certain of your privacy and protection by using public Wi-Fi, don’t do it. And if you really must have a nice internet connection, be mindful that you are risking strangers peeping at your private information.
What good does it do you to be aware of the dangers? With a little rational thinking and caution, you should be able to get through your public Wi-Fi session unscathed. Avoid doing serious business, such as shopping or checking your work account, if at all necessary. Stick to lighter things like monitoring sporting stats, reading news websites, and so on, where it won’t matter if anyone looks at what you’re doing.
Reading small print
We all know we can read the fine print, but how many do we do so? When connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, though, this is especially crucial. In return for your wireless connectivity, what are you giving up? What would do with your email address, phone number, or anything else you’re giving up?
Look up SSL secured webs
A green padlock will appear in your web browser when you visit a site with “https://” at the beginning of the URL. This indicates that you’re on a domain that’s tagged with HTTPS, or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure which is the internet terminology for an encrypted link with the site you’re visiting.
In a nutshell, HTTPS encrypts your browsing activity on a website. This makes it even more difficult for those seated behind you in the cafe or running the hotel’s router to listen in on what you’re doing. As a result, wherever possible, use HTTPS pages.
While using public Wi-Fi, it’s safest to stick to general web surfing rather than digging into social media or email. If you must enter more sensitive pages, however, look for the green padlock and the HTTPS header to ensure your security.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
The most reliable way to stay secure on public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN. However, it does not have a full assurance of protection. A VPN encrypts all data flowing to and from your laptop or tablet, as well as allowing you to fake your location. It’s similar to HTTPS in that it makes it even more difficult for those on the same network to see what you’re doing.
Public Wi-Fi networks aren’t always made equal. You can be picky on the ones you connect to these days because there are so many to choose from. Any network that is more difficult to access, requiring you to order a coffee, ask for a password at the register, or paying a small fee is likely to be better than a fully free network that anyone may use. This is because the additional obstacles impose limitations on the number of users.