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"How to Stay Secure on Public WiFi"

"How to Stay Secure on Public WiFi"

Perhaps most of you connect to public WiFi in places like hotels,  libraries, airports, restaurants, etc. The need to access the internet is  inevitable when you are not at home and the usual solution is the public WiFi. Free WiFi is easily accessible almost in every public place but it could seriously put your security at risk. For example if you are browsing a website, people who are snooping the Wi-Fi connection can see what are you browsing. Websites that don’t use HTTPS are easily traceable on public Wi-Fi.

If you care about your online privacy, you need to take the security measures listed below to protect your data:

Choose your Network Wisely

  • Always make sure you are connecting to the right Wi-Fi network by asking the person in charge or the staff in the cafe, library or any other public places. Hackers can easily intercept your data by simply creating a  network called “Free Wi-Fi” or any other name like “Starbucks Wi-fi” which don’t require a password.
  • Be careful, if your device connects automatically to open wi-fi connection, you are in danger of connecting to an insecure wi-fi. Go to your device setting and turn the “auto-connect” option off.

Use different passwords

We normally use the same password for logging in to our various accounts every day and this is normal because it’s easier to remember one password. On the other hand this puts us at risk. In this case, If a hacker obtains one of your passwords on a public wi-fi, he could easily access all your other accounts.

Use VPN to encrypt your Data:

  • A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a best way to keep your browsing session secure. VPN also gives you the following features:
  • It gives you a different IP which allows you to spoof your physical location.
  • VPN also unblocks restricted websites for you.
  • VPN allows the user to securely access a private network and share data remotely through public networks.
  • A VPN client encrypts all the traffic between your device and the VPN server, meaning that it will be difficult for intruders or hackers to sniff or monitor your data.
  • Betternet Free VPN is a great choice. Download link here.

Use HTTPS:

  • Preferably connect to websites that use HTTPS. Fortunately popular search engines and websites like Google, Duckduckgo, Youtube and Facebook offer this feature which make your connection more secure on public Wi-fi.

Don’t update or install apps when on public wi-fi:

  • Turn auto update off on your devices, specifically laptops. There is the risk of downloading malware and harmful applications when you are connected to a public connection.

Turn off sharing:

  • If you have Windows on your laptop, turn off file sharing. You can simply go to Control Panel > Network > Sharing Center > Change Advanced Settings, and turn off the file sharing button.
  • If you use a Mac, go to System Preferences > Sharing , and turn the sharing option off.

Sign Out of apps and forget the network

  • After using the public Wi-Fi and when you are done browsing, tell your device to forget the network. It means the next time your device (Laptop or Smartphone) won’t automatically connect to the public Wi-Fi you were using.

Finally, and most importantly: turn your device Wi-fi off when not using it.

To download Betternet VPN on Apple, Android or Desktop (Windows) click on the link here.

Have anything to add to this article? feel free to leave a comment.

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by Benjamin White