Public WiFi is available almost anywhere, which makes it convenient when you need to use the internet. While it's a great to have easy access to the internet, there are some risks when you use your personal device on public WiFi. Not to worry! We've put together some tips for you so you can keep your information safe.
Here are 5 tips for you to protect your information when you use public WiFi.
1. Know when to use your mobile data instead of public WiFi
Accessing sensitive apps and websites such as mobile banking, credit card activity or your credit score tracking should always be done over mobile data. This offers a more secure connection than public WiFi. If you must use WiFi to access anything with sensitive data, including making any online purchases, use a browser app with a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
2. Check for site security
Look for the “s” in the website’s URL, for example, “https://”. If you see this or the lock symbol, it mean the site is secure. That indicates that the website takes extra care to keep your information safe.
“http://” is not secure
“https://” is secure
If you do not see the “s” or the lock symbol, do not put in sensitive information like your credit card number or social security number.
3. Please do not remember me
When the box pops up that asks if you'd like it to remember your information, do not check it. Many websites have a box that allows you to stay signed in even after you close the browser. This is designed to make your next visit more convenient, but it also makes your sensitive information more accessible to the wrong people. If you accidentally tell the browser to save your information, clear your cookies so it will forget it.
4. Sign Out
Sign out of any websites you visited, and use the browser tools available to delete your search and website history when you are finished. When you are finished, turn off your WiFi access and your mobile data on your device. This not only saves your battery life, it makes your device harder for hackers to access your device.
5. Be a mindful "clicker"
Beware of phony websites. Signs that indicate a malicious site are things like: misspellings, bad grammar or low resolution images. If you're familiar with a document or website contains, go ahead and open it. But if you're not sure about a link or file, veer on the side of caution - and don't click it. There may be malware hidden in the link.
Don't log into sites with a user name or password while on public WiFi. The best practice to keep your sensitive information protected is to use those sites on your secure home WiFi.
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