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Stay Safe on the Public WiFi During Traveling: A Few Tips

Using public WiFi during travels isn’t too uncommon. In fact, most people use them these days due to their easy availability and convenience that come with them.

But with easy accessibility, comes security issues in forms of phishing, hacking, snooping and other organized unethical criminal activities. Therefore, some security procedures need to be maintained to keep these issues at bay in the best possible manner. In this article, we are going to discuss them in detail. Take a peek.

1. Use a VPN

A VPN is the acronym of virtual private network that enables users to send as well as receive data on a shared (or even public) network in a manner as if they are connected to their very own private network. A VPN’s capable of providing you with more safety from data hacks especially when you are on a public network.

A public network is vulnerable indeed. Unethical hackers can intercept sensitive information on the public network (be it WiFi or wired) especially when your device exchanges information with a specific website on the very same network.

Better be safe than sorry. Hence, use a VPN for maximum safety.

2. Choose the network carefully

Do you think that the network name looks a bit odd? Is there some sort of a typo-like error in the name of the network? If it does, AVOID getting on the network. It might very easily be a trap.

For example,

Say you are shopping in Walmart Mexico during your travels and you come across the Walmart free public WiFi network on your smartphone. You want to get on it to check Twitter for any reason whatsoever. Hold on a minute! What’s the name of the network again? Is it “Wallmart” with 2 L’s?

STOP immediately! It can be a track. Bring it to the notice of the store attendant. If s/he gives the green signal, then only go ahead with the connection.

3. Look for HTTPS

A HTTPS connection is a secured connection (Note: It’s not guaranteed security; nothing is guaranteed these days, to be honest, but it does the trick at least to a certain extent for sure).

While browsing any site on the internet, try to ensure that the site URL begins with HTTPS. In case it doesn’t, you can create the extension yourself using a tool called HTTPS everywhere. It works for Firefox, Opera, Chrome and other major browsers. Check it out for an improved security.

4. DO NOT handle sensitive financial information on a public WiFi network

Handling sensitive financial information on a public WiFi network isn’t advisable for any reason whatsoever. Remember if you do that consistently over time, you develop a habit of it and then one day, the unthinkable happens while you are enjoying your vacation in a sea resort.

DO NOT log into your bank account and do any form of money transfers while you are on a public WiFi network. DO NOT use Paypal or other similar payment channels while you are on the very same network. Handling sensitive financial information is only advisable when you are on a separate private network of your own.

5. DO NOT ignore updates

Updated apps are comparatively more secure than their previous counterparts.

So ensure that you update your mobile/PC software, OS and apps from time to time for better security. Most of us are guilty of ignoring software updates and face the consequences at a later time in case something arises out of thin air.

Ensure that you don’t fall within the same bracket. Update your software and apps periodically for maximum security.

6. Use the latest antivirus software for maximum protection against viruses and malware

Viruses and malware plague the public WiFi system. So if you want to make your phone immune against such hazards, antivirus software’s a must.

Written By

Steven Scheck is the Principal of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of multifamily wifi and healthcare wifi. When he isn't bringing Wi-Fi to the masses, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and 4 kids and occasionally gets in a round of golf. He is also very involved in philanthropic causes in Miami and nationally.

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