Public WiFi can be incredibly convenient. We might use it while we are on vacation, while we are out eating lunch or at the local coffee shop, but be careful. Public WiFi connections can also be incredibly unsafe.
It is child’s play for hackers to set up a free WiFi network to intercept data, and it can all seem very legit. Sometimes sketchy WiFi connections might even include a nearby venue you recognize to create a comfort level that, in actuality, should be far from comfortable. Once they’re “in,” you could be in a world of trouble…from sharing sensitive work documents, to opening yourself up to identity theft, to providing entrée into your entire financial portfolio.
However, you can minimize the risk associated with connecting to public WiFi. Before connecting to any public WiFi, you should turn off File Sharing. If you work in Windows, just go to Control Panel, Network, Sharing Center and then Change Advanced Sharing Settings. On Mac, it’s in System Preferences. It’s also a good idea to verify the name of the network with staff before connecting. Never use mobile apps that require personal or financial information while you are on public WiFi. Never use the same password on different websites. Never update anything on public WiFi, and only use trusted networks to keep everything updated.
Once you are finished using public WiFi, log off and delete the network from your device so it cannot auto connect any time in the future. It’s a simple process. In Windows, go to your Control Panel, Network and then Sharing Center. Click the name of the network and then Wireless Properties and uncheck Connect Automatically. Mac users just need to go to System Preferences, Network and click advanced under WiFi section to uncheck Remember Networks.