Let’ agree with the fact that accessing the internet shouldn’t be an issue when you are inside your home. It’s easy to connect, it’s safe, and finally, it’s a fact. However, when you are outside, it another story.
A lot of people don’t have data on their smartphones, so they have to rely on the public network. These days, you can access Wi-Fi in more places than ever. It enables you to keep in touch with your friends and work.
But, the public network is less secure than the private one. Therefore, you need excellent firewalls that works against threats. So, here are a couple of tips to protect your information.
Whenever it’s possible, try to use trusted networks, for example, Starbucks, or McDonald’s. They are less likely to contain threats, and people and companies operating them are already getting money from you.
You must keep in mind that no public network is 100% secure. The safety mostly depends on who provides the services. For that reason, you should stay clear of Wi-Fi that pops up on your phone in a shopping mall, or Wi-Fi that is operated by a third party.
They might be legit, but what’s their purpose if anyone can connect for free. How are they making money? So, use your commons sense before you access such a network.
A couple of years ago, Google Chrome started notifying users about the sites they are visiting. Now you have a chance to see the difference between an unencrypted HTTP and an encrypted HTTP connection. The first one is labeled as unsecured which can serve you as the first warning mark.
You will especially need this warning when you are on a public Wi-Fi. So, when you are browsing over HTTPS, users who are in the same public network can’t snoop on data that is exchanged between you and the website’s server.
Some public networks will ask you to provide sign up or provide personal details, such as email or phone number. Don’t fall for their apparent attempt to get ahold of your info.
If you need to connect to the internet, then use trusted recourses and stick to decent places. You can also use an alternative email address designed for this purpose. Also, some phone or cable carries may offer free hotspots in your current location so that you can explore that option as well.
Before you connect to any public network, make sure to check the terms and conditions. You might not understand every word, but you will be able to notice any significant red flags.
Of course, there is nothing wrong in terms and conditions. They help the provider protect its services. But, if they ask you to install additional software, or browser extension, run away.
Usually, there is a threat lurking behind that can jeopardize your data. Therefore, you may benefit by installing a VPN, to stay safe on public Wi-Fi.