IT Security

Eager to find public wifi while you’re out and about? While it can be incredibly convenient, there are a number of dangers of public wifi networks that you find in coffee shops or fast-food restaurants.

Security Issues With Public Wifi

Sending information through websites or mobile apps when you’re on a public network means that someone else might be able to see it. Chats, credit card information, browsing history – it can all be accessed on standard public wifi if you aren’t careful. On your personal wifi, you can control security aspects like a protective password or encryption devices, but you don’t have that same security control over public networks. Say you log in on an unencrypted site — or a site that uses encryption only on the sign-in page — other users on the network can gain access to the site to see what you see and send. This means that they would have the ability to hijack your session and log in as you. This sounds terrifying, right? Access to your information on a single site will lead them to test your username and password combination on other websites and attempt to steal your identity.

 

Keeping Your Data Secure on Public Wifi

You can’t control the security of a public wifi network – including the ones offered by hotels or airports, but there are a few things you can do to better secure your information. Be sure websites are legitimate before accessing them. If you see https in the web address, you have a secure connection to the website, but it does not mean that the website itself is legitimate. It is a good practice to never, ever access personal websites like your banking information while using public networks. If you really want to secure your data, then it is best to use your own hotspot or mobile data. Avoiding public wifi networks whenever possible is the best way to keep your data secure. 

 

If avoiding public wifi is impossible in your circumstances, consider purchasing a secure VPN. A secure VPN allows you to encrypt your internet traffic on unsecured networks to protect your online identity. 

 

If you’re going to use public wifi networks, make sure you’re doing it safely. Change your passwords often and don’t repeat them on multiple accounts. For those that find themselves using public wifi often, TEK Utah offers dark web monitoring to track where your information is being shared. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry!