Sunday, February 11, 2018

How to keep your online information secure when using public Wi-Fi

By egg nog

How to keep your online information secure when using public Wi-Fi



Connecting to public Wi-Fi is tempting for many reasons, especially if you need to check information on the run and want to limit your data usage, or if you want to work from a coffee shop as a change of scenery. Safeguarding your personal information from theft while using public Wi-Fi is always risky, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your information from any prying eyes. The most obvious way to protect your personal information is by trying to use different passwords and login names on all the different sites where you save any personal data. However, there are a few other ways to help you secure your information when you log in to a public Wi-Fi network to access any personal information.



Up-To-Date Operating System

Making sure your computer’s operating system and browser are the most recent version available is a good way to ensure that defenses to known security breaches are the most current. Security patches and updates are issued regularly, so try to update your browser and your operating system frequently to protect your online information from cyber attacks. You can set your browser and operating system to update automatically in the settings or system preference sections which relieves you from having to remember, or from having to choose when to update them.

Use sites with HTTPS or SSL connections


Using sites that are hosted on an HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which supports an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection, can provide extra security while you use public Wi-Fi. You will notice a green lock icon appear in the URL bar of the browser you are using, which indicates that the interactions between the site and your browser are encrypted and secured over an unsecured network, such as public Wi-Fi. This extra layer of protection is one more step you can take to ensure that your online information is being kept secure while you browse on public Wi-Fi. 

Use a VPN


Using a VPN, like Hotspot Shield, can scramble your outgoing data to appear as though it’s coming from the VPN server rather than from you. VPNs route your connection through an encrypted tunnel or a set of proxy servers to hide the traffic from you to the internet, thus making your connection more secure. Encrypted data coming from the VPN can’t be read by third parties trying to steal your information, which gives your connection more security than should you proceed without using a VPN.


Forget the network and turn off Wi-Fi when not in use

Once you have loaded the necessary webpages or used the public Wi-Fi sufficiently and are ready to disconnect, choosing to “forget this network” from the Wi-Fi options will disconnect your session and remove your information from any possible sharing. From there, you can turn off your Wi-Fi connection completely to avoid accidentally re-connecting to an unsecured network, which would ultimately raise your susceptibility to data and information breaches by third party intervention. 

ALSO READ How to protect your Facebook account from getting hacked
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