Free Wi-Fi access is surely a treat for everyone and readily available nowadays. Whether you are shopping in a mall, enjoying your favorite food in a restaurant, waiting for your flight at the airport, or sipping coffee at a cafe, you are likely to enjoy the convenience of free Wi-Fi access. Though it often feels more like a blessing and thousands of people are using it every day, but you must keep in mind that it may not be secure enough. Therefore, your online activities are not secure if you are using public Wi-Fi. Just as we love to access the public Wi-Fi hotspots, so do the hackers. This means that if you use them without any safety measures, then you are taking a lot of risks. Your personal information like social media profiles or bank account details is at stake.
Do not rely more on using public Wi-Fi for internet access unless it is necessary. The extensive usage or availability of the internet worldwide has also raised concerns related to cybercrimes. With broadband technology advancing day by day, no doubt we can experience rocketing internet speeds and better features, but it has also added to the cybersecurity threats. Hackers make use of newer techniques to spy on or invade different networks and steal important information. This means you should be extremely careful when it comes to choosing your internet service provider. By subscribing to plans like RCN internet packages, you can ensure a secure browsing experience. Cybersecurity is no longer something that can be overlooked, or else you can experience irreplaceable damage. Therefore, to take good advantage of public Wi-Fi hotspots, it is extremely important to follow these measures and avoid any nuisance. Check them out and be sure to implement them while using public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Using a VPN
A VPN or Virtual Private Network provides a safe pathway for accessing public Wi-Fi. It can act as a very effective tool to safeguard your information every time you log in to a public hotspot. A potential benefit of using a VPN is that it masks your IP address with a new IP address indicating a different location. This means that you might be sitting in India while using a VPN showing an IP address of Canada. Free VPNs are available online and work well, but if you want enhanced security, then get a paid VPN.
In case you do not have a VPN, you should avoid accessing any unencrypted sites to stay away from potential threats. Look out for HTTPS code initiating a website address, indicating that the connection is secure and encrypted. Encrypted sites are protected against any tampering and are safe to visit even without a VPN.
Enabling the Firewall
It is highly recommended to turn on the firewall so any unauthorized access to your system can be blocked. Though it will not be able to provide foolproof protection, yet it will act as a shield to keep your device safe from any malicious attacks.
Limited File Sharing
Remember that you have strangers around you accessing the same public network, so it is better to cut out any unnecessary features. You can turn off the file and printer-sharing features so that you are not visible to others. Now, you are safe from any unwanted file sharing. Also while signing up for public Wi-Fi, avoid giving out any detailed information including phone number or email address. If needed, you can create an alternate email address for signing up, but do not use your primary email address for better safety.
Using an Antivirus
Antivirus allows you to protect your device from any sort of malware that might try snooping in through the public network. Installing the latest version of the antivirus program will safeguard your device and send alerts whenever any suspicious activity or hacking attempt is spotted while using a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Apart from that, it is highly recommended to utilize two-factor authentication, so that even if a hacker tries to intrude on your network, your account information will not be accessible to him. Moreover, unless important, it is better to prevent making any bank transactions using public Wi-Fi to stay on the safe side. Make it a habit to forget the network after you are done using the public hotspot.
To make the most out of public Wi-Fi, it is important to pay attention to the risks and threats that come along. Using the aforementioned simple tips and tricks can prove to be very effective in combating cyber-criminals sniffing for any loopholes to attack your device and steal personal data. Practicing these cybersecurity measures can prevent you from falling victim to data thefts.