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Using your laptop at your favorite cafe, latte’ lounge or airport?
Many computer and data security experts say you should avoid public Wi-Fi all together due to the rise in free Wi-Fi hacking.
There are ways to be more secure. If you need to check something on the internet, you can follow these suggestions to keep your risk to a minimum.
Here are 9 suggestions and tips to help you out.
You can also read more about FREE Wi-Fi tips from John Sileo.
1. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.
Check with your work or school to see if it offers this connection. Turning on a VPN connection on a public Wi-Fi network is like creating a secure digital tunnel your data can travel through that is out of reach of hackers. Data is encrypted. Some companies will provide you with a VPN client, which is software on your computer.
2. Use encrypted browsing.
When connecting to websites, see if there is an “s” after “http” in the your browser. It should look like “https://” This insures the data you’re sending and receiving from this website is encrypted on a Wi-Fi network. Watch out while using websites that don’t use this type of browsing.
3. Turn off sharing!
Many laptops have “sharing” enabled on some of their hard drives and printers. This allows someone using the same network as you to open up whatever you have “shared.” To find out how to turn off sharing, you can usually find the answer in the help section of your computer software. Right-clicking on your hard drive and folder icons can also open up the properties section in Windows so you can disable sharing.
4. Set up firewalls on your computer or device. Firewalls can be set up using software that will filter data. Firewalls can be set to stop connections to certain websites while on a public Wi-Fi network.
5. Don’t do any banking or shopping on public networks.
Even if you’re using an encrypted connection, it’s best to avoid plugging in credit card numbers while using pubic Wi-Fi. Thieves have been known to watch people type in their credit card numbers on keyboards.
6. Don’t automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks.
Some devices and computers have a setting that allow you to “remember” Wi-Fi network so you don’t have to repeatedly click on it to connect. Leaving this function on can cause your computer to connect to the network without your knowledge.
7. Use reputable anti-virus software.
Hackers can also install malware on your laptop if you’re using their bogus Wi-Fi network. The malware can be used to log your keystrokes.
8. Question the Wi-Fi network.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, ask the business behind it to make sure you’re connecting to the legit network. Employees or management at a hotel or coffee shop should be able to recognize the network.
9. Change your passwords routinely and use multiple passwords.
Hackers know people have a habit of using the same two or three passwords for their email, banking and social media accounts. Try not to use the same passwords and routinely change them to something complex. Avoid incorporating children’s names or birthdays in your passwords.
See this full article and tips at Denver 9news.com.