Public WiFi Safety

  • Public WiFi Networks - Protect Your Privacy

    November 5, 2014 - Leave a Comment

    We are accustomed to always having access to the internet.  Often when we are at the airport, coffee shop, or other "free WiFi" spot, we forget that when on a public WiFi network, we are "public."

    Elizabeth Harper of Techlicious recently  wrote How to Protect Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks.  She consulted with Con Mallon, a mobility expert with Symantec about the security issues on public Wi-Fi.  

     

    FREE wifi image "Boxed Free Wifi Internet Symbol Shows Coverage" by Stuart Miles

    Harper describes that using public WiFi can expose your personal information and passwords.  "Honeypots" can be set up by thieves to try to attract individuals to jump onto their sites thereby giving them access to all data that you send.  Hijacking is another potential threat where your open session can be taken over, or your browser cookies (which recognize who you are) can be stolen.   However, if caution is used, you can protect yourself.  Some of the precautions that you can take include:

    • Make sure that your computer, tablet or smartphone does not automatically connect to unknown WiFi networks.
    • Make sure you connect to sites via HTTPS.  This will protect what you send and receive from a website  (check the address bar of your browser)
    • If you want to encrypt all of your data, use a VPN service such as Witopia.net or StronVPN.com.  There is a fee for this service.

    Please read the entire article including the additional safeguards you should take here.

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