THE RISKS OF AND WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF ON PUBLIC WIFI
Added on: 28th Aug 2016
MOBILE APPS AREN'T AS SECURE
As most people access websites on a laptop or desktop,
website operators have worked on integrating encryption
and other protections in them first. Thus, mobile apps may
not have the same amount of protections.
NEVER USE A MOBILE APP FOR SENSITIVE
TRANSACTIONS ON A PUBLIC WIFI NETWORK
Since mobile apps aren’t as secure as webpages, if you have
to perform sensitive operations (like checking your bank
account) while out in public, either use your phone’s data
connection or open a browser and use the company’s
USING PUBLIC WIFI TO BUY ANYTHING OR
MANAGE YOUR FINANCES IS RISKY
Finances – whether your credit card details when purchasing
from Amazon or your bank login details when checking your
accounts – are at huge risk on any public WiFi network.
Regardless of your own security programs, avoid
transmitting such sensitive date when on public WiFi.
USE NETWORKS WITH STRONG ENCRYPTION METHODS
WEP and WPA are two of the most common encryption
techniques WiFi networks will use. If you’re dealing with
really sensitive data, look for WPA2 which is one of
the strongest encryption techniques on the market.
AUTOMATICALLY CONNECTING TO OPEN
PUBLIC NETWORKS IS DANGEROUS
Some smartphones have the option to automatically connect
to open WiFi networks, reducing your data plan usage. But it’s
pretty dangerous. You could walk by a network and your
phone automatically connects without you even knowing,
opening your data up to theft.
USE A VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your data when you’re
connect to the internet. Encrypting – scrambling your
information into code – makes it almost impossible for
your standard thief to access your data as it shrouds
your information from their view.
VPN'S OTHER ADVANTAGE
Beyond keeping you safer while on public WiFi networks,
using a VPN means you can also access any websites which
the website restricts or blocks.
DODGY WIFI PROVIDERS
A big danger of using a public WiFi network is the shady
WiFi provider. Though most big chains will be more reputable
providers, if you don’t trust the owner – don’t use it. Just as
thieves can pull your bank card details from an ATM if they
insert a special reader, dodgy WiFi providers can steal
your information and sell it on later.
CUTTING CORNERS PUTS YOU AT RISK
Many free WiFi networks – even at your favourite coffee shop –
don’t use the best (or anywhere near) encryption technology
in an effort to cut costs. That means your data is vulnerable
and you need to take security into your own hands.