How to Stay Safe When Using Public Wi-Fi
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How to Stay Safe When Using Public Wi-Fi

How to Stay Safe When Using Public Wi-Fi by Olawale Daniel

Whilst Wi-Fi is undoubtedly incredibly useful for modern businesses and web users seeking to access the Internet when out and about, many people don’t realize that it can also pose quite a substantial security risk. That’s why we’ve written this piece focusing on the different ways in which you can keep your device secure whilst using a public WIFI spot, whether you’re using a new HP or a new Lenovo laptop tablet combo or a standard smartphone.

Turn off the sharing features

It’s important to edit your sharing settings before you log onto any public Wi-Fi. Not doing so may allow anyone else using it to potentially access your computer or mobile device.

How to Stay Safe When Using Public Wi-Fi by Olawale Daniel

Things that should be turned off include remote logins and the sharing of any music, printers or files. These can all be stopped by accessing the advanced sharing settings within the Network and Internet Settings in the control panel. On Macs, it’s a matter of simply going to system preferences, then to the Sharing tab and un-checking all of the options.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network routes the traffic through a secure connection even when the actual web is powered by a public Wi-Fi, making it perfect for helping to increase the security of a the computer. Preferably, a paid Wi-Fi is a good idea for anyone that wants to absolutely guarantee security but there are also some free half-decent ones out there.

Don’t connect automatically

Many modern smartphones actually connect automatically to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot without asking, which should be avoided. Double check the Wi-Fi settings of your handset to make sure that any options to disable auto-connection are turned off. Not doing so could theoretically mean that your device automatically connects to a malicious network without you realising.

Try and use HTTPS

HTTPS is a form of encryption that many websites use in order to keep the connection secure. (For instance, it’s used by banks and online retailers, who have to be safe if they’re to maintain the trust of their customers). Fortunately, there is an actual browser plugin that enables users to use an HTTPS connection every single time they visit a website. It’s called HTTPS Everywhere and it’s highly recommended for those that use public Wi-Fi frequently.

Use two-factor identification where possible

Two-factor identification has become more and more frequent in recent months, with companies keen to enhance their security processes. Two factor simply involves requiring two passwords to log-in, with a standard password usually matched with a code being sent to the user’s phone, which is then entered in. Without the user’s phone, a hacker will be unable to log into a two factor account, upping the security of it considerably.

Make sure you double check the network name

Anyone who regularly checks into free Wi-Fi will know that there are usually a number of different networks ready to go. It’s important to make sure that you don’t log into a fake one. Someone trying to catch people out in McDonalds (to use a hypothetical example) might set up a network called ‘MacD Wi-Fi’ in the vicinity of one of the restaurants. Those that think they’re using a legitimate hotspot would then log-in to a malicious network without realizing. Always double check that you’re connecting to the right network.

I know these tips are just few among many that you can use, but I have to leave the decision to you now! So, what are other effective security technique you’ve used in the past that worth sharing?

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  1. Connor

    February 17, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    very interesting and informative article, as someone who is always on public WiFi ill be taking notes from this…

    • Olawale Daniel

      February 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      I bet you’d be cool on public networks 🙂

  2. James Frost

    February 18, 2014 at 10:07 am

    It is a very interesting blog and very useful too. I will follow every steps that you mentioned in your article. If I get benefits using this tricks then that will be fantastic. I’m looking forward to see some more articles like this one which will be useful.

  3. aliahsanzaidi

    February 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Good job bro thanks for sharing a very nice information

    • Olawale Daniel

      February 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      You’re welcome Aliah. Nice seeing you around here 🙂

  4. Rahul Sharma

    February 27, 2014 at 7:28 am

    For Windows 7, I think that it actually defaults to Public Network, which keeps it pretty secure for vanilla Windows. And the choice between “Home”, “Work”, and “Public” is simple enough. Something like VPN, well, to each his own.

  5. Becca

    February 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

    As much as possible, I don’t want to connect to public wifi. Good thing someone created Pocket wifi. Anywhere I go, I have my own wifi.

  6. imran

    March 1, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Great share Nile , really an informative post , pretty interesting to read too ..Thanks for sharing with us

  7. bili

    March 1, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Thanks olawale for this helpful tutorial. Can you suggest me a good VPN service.

    • Olawale Daniel

      March 10, 2014 at 6:22 am

      I will be writing about this this week. Please stay subscribed. 🙂

  8. harish gupta

    March 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    worthy information for all……will surely follow these steps while using public wifi…
    thanks for sharing

  9. RachelSmith

    March 4, 2014 at 6:58 am

    hey Olawale Daniel , really awesome article man.Some one Should use WPA(Wi-Fi protected) network.many hackers are always in eye to hack any wi-fi network,but after reading this article anyone can secure his network.

  10. Addison Grey

    March 4, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Hi Olawale Daniel ,
    Thanks for sharing such a outstanding blog dude.
    Using a Virtual Private Network that routes the traffic through a secure connection even when the actual web is powered by a public Wi-Fi,now a days on high demand.

  11. holly

    March 5, 2014 at 11:06 am

    There is no doubt now a days Wi-Fi is very much necessary for digital and modern business.using a WPA is very good and protected means of using a Wi-Fi.

  12. Dada Mirada

    March 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Your article is very useful and helpful for me
    so , Thanks

  13. rabbyshykot

    March 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    well said, I didnt know deeply about the wifi so lovely article for me.

  14. Divya

    March 16, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Finally someone go of the matter and provide this worthy information about the public wifi so that the college students like me can use the wifi with proper protection

    Well very well written

  15. Mukesh Joshi

    May 14, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Very useful article for me i didn’t know anything about that. Thanks Daniel


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