How often do you go to a café or hotel to work? Public WiFi networks make the Internet very accommodating, yet there are also inherent risks. One major risk is that public networks do not have encryption, making it easier to hack into network-connected devices.
If you use public WiFi or run a business where employees may use public WiFi when traveling or on the road, we're going to list some recommendations to protect yourself when using a public network. We've learned these tips and recommendations over the years as a cybersecurity company in Miami.
How Safe is Public WiFi?
Public WiFi isn't secure. What does this mean? When you log into a website on a public network, the data you send may not be encrypted. Hackers can engage in session hijacking or view the data you submit clearly.
For example, if you log into a website that doesn't have encryption on the login page, a hacker can view your login credentials.
Thankfully, you can stay safe on public WiFi by following a few best practices:
Protecting Yourself When Using a Public WiFi Network
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you want to reduce your risks of potential hacking threats immediately, VPNs are a great option. Since most VPNs are encrypted, all data sent over the network is encrypted, making using public WiFi safe and secure.
- Limit your usage of file sharing and AirDrop. Frictionless filesharing has its place in secure networks, but they're a security risk when you're on a public network.
- Don't sign into websites or apps that don't have HTTPS enabled. HTTPS encryption encrypts the data you exchange with the site (in this case, your login information).
- Use your cell phone provider's Internet instead of public WiFi because it's safer. Even if the WiFi is faster, it's nice not to have to worry about an unsecured connection leading to identity theft.
- Avoid using the same passwords across sites. Doing so will make it easier for someone else to log into all of your accounts if they hack a single account and learn your email and password combination.
- Never access any financial or personal information when on a public network.
- Avoid staying permanently logged into any sites because their sessions can be hacked and allow the person to see all of your information. For example, if you're logged in to Facebook, the session can be stolen, allowing the person to gain full access to your account.
- Disable automatic, public WiFi connections.
- Install Firefox or Chrome add-ons that force you to visit only secure sites. These apps will change HTTP to HTTPS whenever possible to effortlessly boost your security.
Protecting yourself when using a public WiFi network requires extra diligence on your behalf, but it's 100% possible if you use the tips listed above.
Call a Cybersecurity Company in Miami to Help with Your Network Security
If you want to protect yourself from the risks of hackers or data breaches, leave it to the professionals. We can implement the best practices for your network and keep your systems safe and secure.