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Top 6 Security Tips For Using Public WiFi

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.

Written By

Reese Jones is a tech and gadget lover, a die-hard fan of iOS and console games. She started her writing venture last month and writes about everything from quick tech tips, to mobile-specific news from the likes of O2, to tech-related DIY.



  1. May

    October 15, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Thanks for the tips. For the most part, the best thing you can do is avoid open networks you don’t trust whenever possible. If you do decide to access an open network, limit what you do on it. Don’t access sensitive websites or use important data like your bank passwords while attached to the network. You should also take steps to keep your computer from saving sensitive Internet information that could be accessed later, like a history or cookies cache.

  2. DariaWilen

    March 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    We’re never going be safe if we are not using any of Virtual private network for our online security and system privacy. Thus for complete online security and system privacy i always use “Hotspot Shield” free VPN while surfing the web on public wifi hotspots. It is the most trusted VPN service provider i have ever used.

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