Connecting to public Wi-Fi is very convenient, but how often is it safe? Can using public Wi-Fi put your identity at risk? Unfortunately, yes. When we connect to an open network, we put our data at risk of cyberattacks and privacy breaches.
Using public Wi-Fi can harm your privacy and data. Sending and receiving crucial information through public networks can be fatal as there’s always a risk that someone else might be able to access your messages. Imagine sharing the details of your personal bank account with someone and finding out that the account was hacked. Scary, right?
Even though free Wi-Fi can come in handy, it’s never the best solution. When you connect to a free network, it gets easier for cybercriminals to access your personal information and data, which could also lead to identity theft. Therefore, connecting to a secure and reliable network is of the utmost importance.
How To Safely Use Public Wi-Fi Networks
According to Cyberghost’s guide to secure your data over Wi-Fi, there are steps you can take to ensure you use Wi-Fi more carefully and avoid potential threats.
#1 Connect To Websites Securely
The safest way to browse the internet is to ensure that the web address starts with HTTPS. HTTPS tells you that the website is verified and that the connection is secure. If the website has an HTTP prefix, it is better to avoid it. However, bear in mind that HTTPS sites are not fully secure, and cybercriminals can still use them for malicious purposes.
#2 Switch to Mobile Data Whenever You Can
Another way to ensure that your data is free from breaches or theft is by not connecting to the public network at all. Try to use your mobile data to surf the internet securely, as most mobile data are usually encrypted.
#3 Consider Using VPN
Virtual Private Network, commonly known as VPN, is a great way to protect your data. It allows you to establish your secure network while using public Wi-Fi. They tend to disguise your internet identity and cover your tracks, which makes it more challenging for hackers to follow your next move.
#4 Don’t Access Your Personal Accounts
Make sure never to access your personal accounts when using a public network. Logging into your accounts only once can be enough for cybercriminals to get access to your data.
#5 Don’t Send Personal, And Financial Information
Sending and receiving personal and financial information through an unsecured network could be very harmful to your overall online security. You could be an easy target for hackers and cybercriminals and prone to identity theft.
#6 Pay Attention To Warnings
Never disregard a warning from a shady website. If you have anti-virus and malware protection installed on your devices, you will always be warned before you enter any unsecured and unreliable website. So, make sure to proceed with caution.
#7 Don’t Use The Same Password On All Websites
We often let laziness take over and set the same password for several websites and social media accounts. But this is one of the easiest ways for the hacker to access your personal information. So, make sure to choose a new password for each account.
# Change Your Device’s Setting
Often, our devices are enabled to connect to the nearest open network. To protect yourself from data breaches, change your device’s Wi-Fi setting and disable the ‘Connect to Open Network’ setting.
# Install Antivirus
You can always use the help of anti-virus and malware protection software to add an extra layer of protection for your data and information. Also, remember to regularly update your antivirus software to stay protected at all times.
# Switch Off Your Wifi When Not In Use
The last and most important step is to turn your Wi-Fi off when not in use. This will help you stay away from unsecured open networks while simultaneously saving your device’s power usage.
Data breaches and identity theft are becoming more common, and becoming a victim can have unwanted long-term effects. Therefore, it is important that you invest in a sturdy cyber security plan to keep you and your data safe from any external threats.