Wi-Fi is essentially a lifeline these days. There are apps in endless supply to help you find Wi-Fi hotspots no matter if you are in an airport or waiting in the lobby of a doctor’s office.
Sure, it’s convenient to utilize free Wi-Fi, but it’s important to keep in mind that hackers are smart and they know where people are likely to connect their devices to unsecured networks.
Cybercriminals can set up free Wi-Fi and disguise it as a trusted source — like the name of the hotel you’re staying at –and when you unknowingly connect, you could be compromising your device.
Alternatively, given the right conditions, they can access your data while you’re both connected to the same unsecured network. The bottom line is that public Wi-Fi can be very dangerous if you’re not careful.
Check out this video to learn more:
How Can You Stay Secure On Public Wi-Fi? Don’t worry – you don’t have to avoid public Wi-Fi for the rest of your life. When you do use it, be sure to keep the following tips in mind to make sure you’re kept secure:
Avoid accessing sensitive info when using public Wi-Fi, such as online banking, shopping, etc.
Set your smartphone up with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that encrypts your data to keep it safe from hackers.
Enable two-factor authentication — offered by Gmail, Facebook, PayPal and more — which adds a secondary step for verification, ensuring that hackers would need more than just your password to gain access to your accounts.
Don’t visit websites unless they have HTTPS encryption. You can tell by looking at the beginning of the URL – unsecured sites just have “HTTP”.
Configure your smartphone so that it doesn’t automatically connect to open Wi-Fi hotspots.
Keep your Bluetooth function turned off unless you’re specifically using it with another device.
With the rate at which technology is constantly evolving, it’s important to take advantage of the latest tools available to you, including Wi-Fi. However, just because it’s convenient, doesn’t mean it’s secure. Always be cautious when taking advantage of public Wi-Fi.
Brian Gray, MCP, is the President at Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. Within his role, Brian is responsible for all aspects of service delivery to our clients. Brian has a decade of experience working for managed service providers. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, accounting, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.