Open Wi-Fi networks connect you to the internet using radio waves rather than cables, allowing you to browse the web from any place, such as hotels, airports, or shopping malls. You may also connect to the internet at a coffee shop or another coffee shop. However, there are drawbacks to the public Wi-Fi network to which you are connected; it is shared with other users, some of whom may be cyber thieves seeking your information. Cyber thieves are particularly prone to operating on unencrypted Wi-Fi networks; they will even set up so-called “devil twin” networks in the same region as secure Wi-Fi networks with a similar name to trick you into signing in. Even if you avoid cyber thieves online, there may be some shoulder surfers in the café watching you do tasks such as inputting a password. It’s easy to lose everything while using a public Wi-Fi network, but it’s also easy to safeguard yourself by following a few simple steps.
How to prevent being hacked while connected to public Wi-Fi
Here are a few tips for being safe while utilizing public Wi-Fi networks.
- Protect your device by activating your firewall and keeping your antivirus software up to date. This is critical while accessing a public Wi-Fi network. Always use the most up-to-date antivirus software.
- Take a closer look at the network address you are attempting to access, keeping an eye out for spelling variants intended to deceive you.
- Disable any auto-connect or request to join network features, you may unknowingly be linked to an evil twin network.
- When you’re done using public Wi-Fi, immediately log out; this acts as a security measure against hackers. While Wi-Fi networks enable you to connect to the internet almost everywhere, they also offer cybercriminals chances to defraud you everywhere.
- Never logon to any of your mobile wallets or banking applications to safeguard your data. If you input this information, hackers may get it as long as you are connected to the same free Wi-Fi. Paid megabytes are a fair amount to pay for the security of your account, correct? Avoid being that penny-wise.
- Fake networks may also lead you to famous websites that are not connected to your personal data. If you notice any strange characters in the URL of a well-known website, this most likely indicates that the website is not genuine. If you need to save passwords on your media device, use a password manager that encrypts data.