One of the biggest priorities that anyone who uses public WiFi at their local coffee shop or McDonald’s should be concerned about is security. These public networks are often not as safe as you may think they are, even when they are password protected. This is why it’s a good idea to take a few extra precautionary measures to ensure that your data is secure while you surf.
Simply stated, these five letters can mean the difference between a secure connection and an insecure one. Always check to make sure that your public WiFi portal reads HTTPS instead of HTTP. The difference that the one missing letter makes is huge. An HTTP connection is not a secure one and it is possible that other people may be able to see your data. If you don’t see the addition “s” on the end of the hyperlink, manually type it in. Most sites will default to this if you type it in.
Security can be particularly important if you use public WiFi to work. Imagine having your own film deposition company and unknowingly releasing private company information regarding your sputtering sources. If this information fell into the hands of a competitor it could hurt your sales.
Turn Off Sharing
This is simple enough to do and should be cone prior to logging on to any public WiFi. Make sure you turn off both printer and file sharing as well as network discovery and public folder sharing. These steps will definitely make it difficult if not impossible for someone on the same network to gain access to your data.
Turn On Your Firewall
Before you log on to any public internet system make sure that your firewall is on. This is an extra layer of protection that will also keep people on the same network from snooping on your data. You can also go a step further by choosing which applications you want to allow access.
One of the most convenient trends is restaurants hotels and other establishments that offer free WiFi along with their other services however before you log on and start surfing take a few extra safety measures to protect your data and your privacy. Make sure that your firewall is on, you’re using an https site, and that you turn off sharing. These key safety measures should keep your data secure while you are surfing on a public WiFi network.