Public Wi-Fi Network are becoming very common with the increased use of internet and number of devices which can go online wirelessly. Some of these networks are password protected and some are not. Public Wi-Fi Networks are good news, but not much people are aware of the risks involved with using a Public Wi-Fi network.
Here are some tips to keep you safe from using Public Wi-Fi Network
Protect your Device
Without doubt, this is the first line of defense against any security threat. Protect your device using a security software. Make sure your security software is working properly. Do scans regularly and the software is up to date. Make sure the firewall is turned on. If the security software don’t have a firewall, use the one provided by Windows OS.
In case of mobile devices with Android, Windows Phone or iOS software, install a security software with firewall to add a layer of protection for your device.
Check Wi-Fi Security Level
Wi-Fi usually comes with a password or no password. When you join a network with no password, chances are that you share the network with lot of others which increase the threat level.
However, some hotels and public places have Wi-Fi’s which is password protected. They even charge their customer to give them password. You can expect less users in such networks reducing the threat level and also faster connection as you are sharing with less numbers.
Check the status of Public Sharing on your device.
In Windows, go to Control Panel -> Network and Internet settings -> Change advanced sharing settings -> Under Public folder sharing -> Turn off Public folder sharing
Public folders usually contain document, pictures, videos and music collections. By turning of Public Folder Sharing, you reduce the chance of sharing it with others on the network.
When a website link starts with “https”, it says that all information transferred from the page is encrypted and completely secure. But not every website, including the very popular websites don’t have all the pages protected by “https”. The information sent from these pages is not always secure.
Fix this problem by using HTTPS Everywhere, a browser add-on which currently support Firefox, Chrome and Opera browser. It encrypts your communication making it more secure to use these browsers in public Wi-Fi.
Always connect to the right Network
Hackers might create their own network and use it as a bait to trap users. Hackers might name their network based on the location or building, which arouse less suspicion in users mind. Once you become part of their network, they will start digging into your device.
To prevent this, it is a good practice to check if you are connected to the network with the right name. Don’t connect to any unknown network.
Disable Automatic connection to Wi-Fi networks
Lot of users make the mistake of enabling automatic connection to Wi-Fi networks. This can be dangerous. Go to Wi-Fi settings and turn it off. An additional advantage will be saving battery power as Wi-Fi is a major reason for draining battery.
Hope you find this useful. Use the comment section for feedback or any queries.