In the end, you know why we wrote this article on our website. We all know public WiFi network is not secure or safe but for different reasons we still use Public WiFi, We strongly advise not to use Public WiFi when you are using password protected websites.
Here the one recent example. An unidentified 36-year-old man in Vienna, Austria lost more than $117,000 in Bitcoins while logged into public WiFi at a restaurant. Complete details are here.
This highlights the growing concern for safety while you are on Public WiFi network. So how can you stay as safe as possible when using public WiFi?
Secure/Unsecure Public WiFi networks? When you are in a public place such as a coffee shop, restaurant, store, or airport, there are secured and unsecured public WiFi networks. Secured networks require a login or password to gain access while unsecured are easily accessed without a login. I am concerned with the both of them, the average password protected WiFi network is still susceptible for a cyber attack for many reasons. I will write a separate article on “Is password protected public WiFi safe?” as it needed a longer discussion. I will completely avoid networks which aren’t the password protected.
Avoid logging into websites that require a password such as your bank or private accounts to stay safe.
Avoid shopping online while using public WiFi. Making any type of purchase requires sensitive data including your bank account or credit card information which could be intercepted by cyber criminals.
Do access secure public WiFi networks whenever possible and verify that it is a legitimate network, not a bogus one set up by cyber criminals. You can ask the provider of the network to confirm their WiFi network name.
Do consider using a VPN to encrypt your data as you send and receive it. This ensures that your privacy is protected while using public WiFi.
Do use SSL connections meaning enable the “Always use HTTPS” in the address line to ensure you are at a secure address. Do this especially for websites where you enter in your personal or account information.
It’s important when using public WiFi to question everything and not take for granted that you have access to a network. If you have automatic connectivity turned on, you may want to turn it off so that you log in each time you use a secure network.
You may also consider investing in an unlimited data plan so that you don’t have to log in to public WiFi to avoid going over on your plan. Be aware of the pitfalls of using public WiFi. Staying safe protects your laptop, tablet or smartphone from hacking or malware. And of course, do not leave your laptop, tablet, or smartphone unattended in a public place.