In today’s life public WiFi (Free Wi-Fi) is our every days companion. Now majority of coffee shops, airports, hotels, shopping malls, restaurant, university campuses, Railway Stations offer to access their Wi-Fi networks for free and they are very convenient to use, so every person use it for a daily basis.
The number of public Wi-Fi continues to increase day after day. Are these Public Wi-Fi secure or reliable to use? We never think twice before login in to Public Wi-Fi (Free Wi-Fi).
Let’s think you are waiting at a Railway Station for train, and logged into the Public Wi-Fi offered by the Railway with your mobile to check your bank balance statement, think again it could turn into a nightmare for you or you may fall victim of identity theft.
Hacker may gain access to your information. Because most of the Public Wi-Fi are not secure and your online activities are not encrypted at all. So if you really care about your privacy and don’t want to be a victim of identity theft, think twice before login into Public Wi-Fi.
What is Wi-Fi Hotspot – According to Wikipedia “A hotspot is a physical location where people may obtain Internet access, typically using Wi-Fi technology, via a wireless local area network (WLAN) using a router connected to an internet service provider.”
Here are some useful tips to help keep you secure on Public Wi-Fi
1. Always use a premium VPN or a Free one – When you are using a Public Wi-Fi, consider to use a premium quality VPN (Virtual Private Network) service, not the free one. When you are using a VPN on a Public Wi-Fi, it encrypts all your data and passes through a private tunnel over the public network and hacker won’t be able to access your information, so your online activities won’t be visible to a hacker. So it’s a great way to stay secure on a public Wi-Fi. You will find various VPN services online, which provide good service at a low price, but make sure you are using a VPN service from a reputable service provider.
2. Avoid using personal/sensitive information in the Hotspot – We should not use public Wi-Fi to access our private information or sensitive information. Never access banking details, credit card numbers, emails, social media in a public Wi-Fi, You can use public Wi-Fi to access less sensitive information, something like Bus Route maps etc.
3. Browse Only websites that start with HTTPS – Avoid websites that starts with HTTP on public Wi-Fi and only browse websites that starts with HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure), because the website which starts with HTTPS, encrypts everything, so it adds an extra layer of security to your browsing. HTTPS websites encrypted the connection between your browser and web server. So always use Websites that starts with HTTPS.
4. Check that you have already disabled your Wi-Fi to connect automatically to Public Wi-Fi – Disable your Wi-Fi settings on your device not to connect automatically to available Wi-Fi hotspots. If you don’t do that your device will automatically connect even without notifying you to any available network, which can bring danger to you.
5. Turn off the sharing option – When using internet on a public wi-fi, turn off file sharing option on your Operating System. You can turn it off from your system preferences or control panel.
6. Check your Wi-Fi network uses WPA2 encryption – Check your Wi-Fi networks uses WPA2 encryption for better securing yourself on a public wi-fi hotspot. If your wi-fi network uses WEP or WPA encryption that network, they are not secure.
7. Enable the Firewall to secure your device – Firewalls are designed to prevent unauthorized access to your device. So enable them when you are using internet on a public Wi-Fi. It will give you extra security
8. Turn Wi-Fi when you are not using it – If you are not using internet at a public place, keep your wi-fi turned off.
9. Keep your antivirus, browser and Operating system up-to date – Always make sure you are using up-to date antivirus, browser and operating system. Up-to date antivirus can help you protect your device from evil eyes.
10. Use 2 Factor Authentication – Always use 2 factor authentication, By enabling 2 factor authentication if someone get your username and password, he/she won’t be able to access your information, because he/she won’t has the secondary code.