Gaining access to the internet isn’t typically a problem when you are at home. The connection that you are subscribed to is not only secure but also uncongested until the whole family starts to stream video content on Netflix. It could then become a little problem. However, when you decide to use public Wi-Fi, then it is a whole different story altogether. Sure, it can help you get connected to the internet but is it really safe? The answer is no! It can never be as safe as using your basic Charter Spectrum internet plan at home.
The reason why public Wi-Fi is unsecured is that you have no idea who set it up. Also, you would have no idea about who is connecting to it. However, if you have to communicate to the public Wi-Fi and there is no alternative available, do so. Remember these tips while you are at it, as it will help you have a secure browsing experience!
Table of Contents
1.Know Who To Trust
You should always prefer to use the network provided by a place that you trust, like Starbucks. These Wi-Fi networks are mostly secure as the companies or people are operating them are getting money out of you. Other than that, you should totally avoid public Wi-Fi networks as your data might be stolen. Also, ask yourself what’s in it for people who are providing free Wi-Fi connection to everyone? How is it benefitting them? Therefore, just stick to a limited number of public Wi-Fi hotspots that you trust.
2. Don’t Provide Unnecessary Information.
IF you are connecting to public Wi-Fi and are being asked many personal details, it is advised to proceed with caution. It might ask you to provide your phone number or email address. In such a scenario, you can use the secondary email address that you might not use often. There are mostly restaurants and stores that do this, which helps them to tailor their marketing accordingly. It is not advisable to provide any information, but if you absolutely need to use the network, then you can give some info to places you trust.
3. Prefer HTTPS
Google Chrome can easily let the user know if the site they are visiting is using an HTTP or an HTTPS connection. The former is unencrypted and hence not safe! Whereas the latter is encrypted. This means that you should always browse over HTTPS as people won’t be able to track what you are doing on the internet. While on HTTP, you can expect your activity to get monitored.
4. Limit File Sharing
When you are using public Wi-Fi in an area surrounded by strangers, then it would be a wise move to disable frictionless file sharing on your devices. On a PC, you can do that by heading to the Network and Sharing Center, then click Change Advanced Sharing Settings. After that, hit the Turn Off File and Printer Sharing. If you are on Mac, then go to Systems Preference, hit Sharing, and then simply unselect everything. There’s one more thing that you would need to. On Windows, click Finder and hit Airdrop. You can then turn it off. At the same time, iOS users can locate AirDrop in the Control Center. Once you are done with this, no one can either get your files or will be able to send you one.
5. VPN Will Save You
If you want to stay safe on a public network, then consider getting a VPN. It is by far the most effective way of remaining secure from any online threats when you are using a connection that cannot be trusted. What a VPN does is that encrypts your data and would help you connect to a safe server. This will make it hard for people who own the public Wi-Fi network to know what you are doing. Connecting to a VPN is really simple, and after you get the client for your provider, it will guide you step-by-step through the whole process. Whether you are on a laptop or mobile, having a reliable VPN will certainly pay off!
When the WPA3 Wi-Fi security protocol is launched, you can expect public Wi-Fi to offer you extensive protection. But till that happens, you would have to be careful while using the public network as it poses many threats. This is also the reason why my brother – a business owner – who has installed a television in his shop prefers to make use of his Charter Spectrum TV package of a secured internet connection. You should consider following some of the tips shared above to be more cautious while using a public network.