Julianne Mercer, Negosentro.com | More than often, whenever we enter a cafe or wait to board a plane, we can’t resist connecting to the available network for either checking our emails or accessing the social media. While most of us just browse to pass our time, others use the opportunity to get their work done, such as paying the bills, transferring money or shopping online – totally unaware that their data could be compromised.
Public networks are more prone to security risks than you can imagine. The firewalls and antiviruses may protect you from the ‘internet’, but they don’t save you from the dangers of being in a public domain.
In fact, it is one of the easiest ways to wiretap internet connections or eavesdrop. They may provide a password to login, but due to the lack of any security encryption, the network remains open and insecure -making it easier for hackers to attack.
Thankfully, there are certain tips and measures that can be taken to secure your internet connection in a public wifi hotspot.
You could start off by staying alert and looking around for any suspicious person trying to peek into your computer. Do not leave your device unattended or give anyone an opportunity to connect a USB stick to your system and install a malware. Also, block everyone from snooping around your files by turning off “Sharing” from your computer’s Network and Sharing Centre.
Verify the correct public wifi to avoid connecting to a fake network with a similar name. And most importantly, never login to your bank and financial services, or access your emails and other sensitive data.
One of the most effective ways would be to use Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN connection encrypts your information and routes your activities through a separate secured tunnel, giving you an impression of using a ‘private’ network in a public domain. And in case of any intrusion, it even re-routes your connection.
In other words, VPN provides several layers of security that makes your data completely private, safe and anonymous.
Take a look at the following infographic that throws more light on how to keep yourself safe on a public wifi: