8 rules for safe use of public Wi-Fi

07/20/2016
8 rules for safe use of public Wi-Fi

Holidays are full, and you often travel and visit interesting places. You get a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone - in the 21st century hardly anyone moves anywhere without one of these devices. And with them there is a need to use the Internet, which is now widely available. Public Wi-Fi can be found in hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and many other places where they can carry our feet. However, as not everyone can know, using public Wi-Fi networks is not safe if we do not prepare them beforehand.

By connecting to the public Wi-Fi network, we endanger the data being transmitted over and over, and our passwords and login data will be taken over by criminals and then used for bad purposes. That's why it's important to keep in mind some of the rules that will allow us to significantly improve our security and protect ourselves against cybercriminals when using public Wi-Fi networks.

1. Do not connect automatically to a Wi-Fi network

Most smartphones and laptops are configured to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks. Returning home from work, our device will automatically connect to the home network without our intervention. This user-friendly feature can unfortunately be used by criminals for their purposes. They can launch an open Wi-Fi network over which they will have full control, and will be publicly identified as popular names by users or businesses on their networks - such as "home", "office." Our device will connect to such a network, thus giving cybercriminals full playground.

Our tip: Turn off your automatic connection to Wi-Fi networks on your device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) .

2. Verify the network name

For example, in a restaurant or hotel with Wi-Fi, ask for the name of the restaurant. This ensures that you are connected to the good network that actually belongs to the company that makes it.

Our advice: Make sure you know the name of the network you are sharing

3. Disable sharing

Many devices, especially laptops have the option of sharing files and printers for other computers on the network. The same files (music, videos, programs, documents ) that we have made available on the web can be accessed by unauthorized persons. Windows usually asks the user whether the network they are connecting to is public or home or corporate. The latter treats it as trusted and accordingly disables or enables sharing of resources on the network. However, the misleading network or our inattention may make the data available to only a limited audience will be publicly available.

Our advice: Disable sharing of files and printers

4. Use SSL

In any situation where you can, especially when signing in and transferring confidential data on web pages, use SSL (green padlock and https in the page address). As a result, the data transferred between your device and the web page will be encrypted and accessible to third parties. Most internet sites now allow you to use a secure connection. You can also use the plug-in for the most popular browsers - HTTPS Everywhere , which will by default redirect you to secure web pages.

Our advice: Use SSL wherever possible

5. Use VPN

Using VPN is one of the solutions that can best protect us from the dangers of using public Wi-Fi. This is due to the simple fact - when connecting to the Internet via VPN, we use a secure tunnel, which nobody but us can not access. Even if we connect to a network created by a cybercriminal or a public network that we use to be eavesdropped, VPN protects us against unauthorized access to the data being transmitted.

An outsider who will attempt to view our network connection will see only a string of encrypted data that he or she will not be able to use. To start using VPN, we have commercial solutions, which is the best solution for the average user or configure and set up a VPN on their own server, which, however, requires some technical knowledge. The annual cost of subscriptions for most VPN providers offering pay-as-you-go solutions starts at $ 150 a year, which is not an exorbitant amount of security.

You can use our VPN comparator to find the perfect VPN.

Our advice: Invest in VPN and start using it

6. Use secure passwords

It is extremely important for our security when using network resources (not only when connecting via public Wi-Fi, but every day) is appropriate use and use of passwords. Much has been said and written about them, but our article would be incomplete without even mentioning the rules for creating secure passwords. Let's remember:

  • Do not use the same password on different sites
  • Include numbers, uppercase letters, and special characters
  • Creating passwords that we will be able to remember eg "tanczakTango40% slon"
  • Unscripted passwords on yellow cards, later glued to the monitor

    Even if our password for the site is stolen, then the burglar will not be able to use it to log on to our other services.

Our advice: Create and use secure passwords

7. Use dual authentication

Has become. Our inattentive cybercriminals have gained our login and password. They rub their hands and try to sign in to a popular social networking site. They write e-mail, password, click login ... and are asked to enter the code that was sent by SMS to our phone number. By swearing under their noses, they are getting their next login and password - their owner may not have dual authentication enabled and will be able to use his or her data.

At present, most of the major Internet sites (especially those containing confidential data) provide their users with the ability to use dual authentication. In addition to the standard login and password, you also need to enter a one-time code, which is usually sent to your mobile phone. Thanks to that, even if someone gets our login information, we will not be able to use them without accessing our phone.

Our advice: Enable and use dual authentication

8. Use a firewall and anti-virus

Advising the use of firewall (firewall) and anti-virus is not new, but some users still forget about it. Although operating systems are becoming more secure and less susceptible to attacks, there is still the risk that our device may be infected with malware.

Many anti-virus programs are available on the market, some of which are free and allow you to secure yourself without additional costs. Similarly, there are firewalls. Firewalls are often built into the operating system and usually enabled by default. However, it is always a good idea to make sure that they are not accidentally turned off and protect us from the danger of being on the network.

Our advice: If you have not already done so - start using your firewall and anti-virus

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