Nowadays, hotspots are everywhere and everyone loves them. Free public Wi-Fi sounds too good to be true, but wait! It is not really!
Authorities report that public Wi-Fi is the reason for the majority of cybercriminal activities. So, when you use them it almost feels like those signs we have seen that say “Use at Your Own Risk.”
People love using these public Wi-Fi hotspots because they are free, unfortunately, there is no doubt that the signals coming from these devices can easily be intercepted by any novice hacker. Follow the below precautions to make sure that the next time you’re at your local coffee shop which offers you access to high-speed internet, you don’t fall prey to some enterprising cybercriminal out to steal your identity.
Verify the Offered Services
The majority of public Wi-Fi access contains almost zero security measures and all wireless devices are at risk when connected. It could be a cybercriminal in disguise, steering people to a link just to get their personal information. As a precaution, and before you connect your devices, always verify the legitimacy of the wireless connection. Always speak to an employee of the place you are visiting face to face and confirm that they are offering free Wi-Fi service. Then you can verify the name of the connection and its IP address to check its legitimacy.
Stick to Certain Websites
Unless it is very important or a last resort, we recommend never using public Wi-Fi hotspots for disclosing personal and/or financial information. If your online activity includes revealing your identity, private information, passwords, and online banking details, then you should avoid public wireless internet. All the important tasks should be completed through a verified service that offers you complete security and confidence, such as Spectrum Internet. This particular service comes with a complete protection suite to keep you safe from prying eyes and dangerous online viruses. Public Wi-Fi should only be used for general surfing that does not involve using personal information at all.
Keep Your Anti-virus Updated
There are nearly 230,000 new malware viruses released every day. You need to keep your anti-virus and malware protection programs up-to-date at all times. Your computing device, regardless if it is a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, it needs protection. Anti-virus programs and malware detection is your best defense in this regard. Most software you install will offer internet security that will keep your virus definitions updated, which in turn, will reduce the possibility of your personal information being tracked and stolen by a cybercriminal.
Always Opt For a Secured Network
When you choose a Wi-Fi network, to keep yourself protected, develop the habit of selecting a secure one. These have a padlock icon next to the URL thatwill not allow automatic entry to the network. Usually, a password or some sort of verification process is required to enter. This also guarantees that you have chosen a secure network and not an internet connection that is pretending to be a verified network.
Constantly Use the ‘Ask To Join’ Feature
Generally, mobile devices have a feature that informs you that you are joining a network. The ‘ask to join’ feature is present in most smartphone devices and you should always remember to keep this feature on, especially if you have the urge to frequently use public Wi-Fi access hotspots. This feature never allows your device to connect to any available connection without asking for your consent. Only after you approve of the connection will the device connect to the network. This is a great feature for protecting you from ‘bad’ networks.
Subscribe to a Verified Hotspot Service
If you just love the idea of using public wireless internet services then we recommend that you subscribe to an authorized Wi-Fi hotspot service provider. At least this way you can still enjoy the convenience of using these Wi-Fi services without worrying about taking precautionary measures.
A quick note at the end: around 64 percent of public Wi-Fi users cannot tell the difference between secure and non-secured internet access. We hope that this post has brought some much-needed awareness regarding the use of public Wi-Fi services. Forward this article to friends and family to show them the dangers and keep yourself safe from cybercriminals.