One of the great things about smartphones these days is that you can connect to the internet whenever and wherever you want thanks to WIFI and 3G (and 4G very soon too). More and more restaurants and cafes are offering free WIFI in a bid to bring in more customers. It may seem like a great deal to us but there are a number of potential security hazards when connecting to a public WIFI.
No matter what make you have, whether it’s the new iPhone 5 or it’s the Samsung SII, public WIFI poses the same risk to your phone.
There are more than a million public Wi-Fi networks in the world. You might think that connecting to your local cafe’s WIFI is safe and fine, but a potential hacker could be sitting at one of the tables, waiting for an unsecured phone to link up. Don’t be under the impression that you should never connect to a public WIFI , just take precautions and be extra careful. Below are a few simple steps to help keep your sensitive information safe.
1. Keep Your Connections Off
Not only will you save a lot of phone battery by switching to airplane mode, but if your phone is automatically set up to connect to the nearest WIFI, it eliminates the risk that you’ll unwillingly link up to a rogue hotspot set up by a crook to gather sensitive information. It is best to only use ‘Wi-Fi Protected Access hubs’ as they require a password to connect.
2. Look Out For Encrypted Websites
Only log in or sign in to a website if you’re sure it is fully encrypted. If you discover an unencrypted page, log out right away.
3. Forget The ‘Remember me’ Setting
One of the most dangerous things you can do is keep the ‘remember me’ setting on all of your accounts. Not only are you likely to forget your password after some time, but it means that someone could potentially get into your accounts without even trying. They could even change your password so you cannot login. This is why it is also worth having different passwords for different accounts, just in case someone discovers one of yours.
4. Pay Attention To Warnings
Some web browsers alert users who try to visit fraudulent websites, so it is certainly worth paying attention to these warnings.
5. Update As Often As Possible
If you have a security app like Lockout on your phone then it is always worth updating the software as often as you can. These updates are often fixing or improving security issues which is certainly worth doing,
6. Check The WIFI’s Encryption
Only use WEP, WPA or WPA2 encrypted websites as they protect your information against hacking programs. But if you are unsure whether the site is encrypted then it’s worth leaving the site right away, just to be safe.