Avoid These Mistakes When Using Free Public Wi-Fi

In this article, I am discussing which common mistakes people should avoid and stay safe when using free public Wi-Fi. Before reading this article you can read more about why is it risky to use free public Wi-Fi here for better understanding. 

So, Let's begin.

You were bored at the airport or any other public place and decided to connect to that free Wi-Fi network, to get some last-minute work done before you turn your email notifications off for one joyful week. You may think you were doing your boss a favor and also think that boss will become happy after seeing your work, but in reality, you've just exposed yourself to countless security threats.

Avoid These Mistakes When Using Free Public Wi-Fi

Whether you're aware of it or not, everything comes at a price. And if you use a free Wi-Fi network to make online payments, this might end up being your most expensive mistake. Free public Wi-Fi networks are so vulnerable that even your technologically challenged mother could learn how to hack them. Ok, that may have been an exaggeration (overstatement), but they truly are very easy to spy on.

Rouge Networks, Man-in-the-Middle attacks, Malicious Hotspots, Snooping & Sniffing are the main weapons (You can read more about all these weapons here) hackers use to steal the information you expose while using free public Wi-Fi networks. What are they after? Everything. Could be your passwords, banking details, full chat history, sensitive personal information or even those unflattering selfies you meant to delete.

As mobile Wi-Fi becomes increasingly common, you can expect Internet security issues and public Wi-Fi risks to grow over time. But this doesn't mean you have to stay away from free Wi-Fi and restrict yourself to a desk again. That's why here, I am discussing which common mistakes people should avoid and stay safe when using free public Wi-Fi.

1. Don't connect to unsecured Wi-Fi networks, especially if they have a suspicious name. As it often the case, avoidance is the best form of protection.

2. Don't do any online banking and don't communicate any sensitive information via chat. If you do use public Wi-Fi, stick to browsing, watching your favorite shows or playing music.

3. Only use secure websites. If you visit these types of websites that require your login credentials details, make sure they're secure (the address should start with https:// instead of http://). If you're redirected to an 'http://' page after logging in, that means you've jumped back to unsecure browsing and its sign for you that not to visit that types of website.

4. Use a VPN. to encrypt your connection and hide your online activity, including passwords and logins. Even if a hacker (attacker) manages to position himself in the middle of your connection, the data here will be strongly encrypted.

5. Turn off the printer and file sharing on your computer. On Windows, you'll usually find this setting in Control Panel, under 'Network and Internet' or 'Network and Sharing Center'. Users can change these options from their System Preferences, under 'Advanced Sharing Settings'.

6. Turn off Wi-Fi auto-connect setting and Bluetooth discoverability setting. This helps prevent hackers (attackers) form gaining direct peer-to-peer access to user devices without them realizing it.

7. Use a mobile hotspot for your office related work if you are working on laptops. Avoid using free public Wi-Fi.

8. Keep Wi-Fi off when you don't need it. If you're only using your computer to work on a Word or Excel document, keep your Wi-Fi off. Due to this, you'll also experience a much longer battery life.

9. Use good anti-virus software including anti-sniffing protection.

10. Make sure your Firewall is enabled.
That covers the basics of staying safe while using free public Wi-Fi networks. Do you take any extra measures (steps) to protect your data while browsing from cafes, hotels, and airports?

Avoid These Mistakes When Using Free Public Wi-Fi

So, These are the Do's and Don't when you are using free public Wi-Fi networks.

Free public Wi-Fi is a boon to productivity and convenience for all of us, but it is not without its risks. It's easy for hackers to steal your login credentials, personal information and other sensitive data. So, don't use free public Wi-Fi and stay safe.

I hope you've enjoyed this article. If you have any questions or if you have any thoughts about free public Wi-Fi security then please mention in the comments section and I will get back to you and stay tuned with my blog to learn interesting things related to cybersecurity and hacking.

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