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5 Ways Your Users Can Stay Safe When Using Public Wi-Fi

14 August 2017 12:20

There’s no escaping the internet nowadays. The need for us to be able to access it virtually anytime, anywhere, has meant that cafes, hotels and restaurants up and down the country are offering public Wi-Fi access for free... but at a hidden price.


How your users can stay safe when using public Wi-Fi

Now, slowly but surely, the security risks around public Wi-Fi have been growing and growing, with cyber criminals taking advantage. Businesses now face a rapidly rising threat of keeping their users secure when travelling or working remotely.

But don’t fear, we’ve compiled five simple ways you can get that process started today...

Enable 2FA on any accounts that contain personal information

One of the most criminally underused added layers of protection. 2-factor authentication is a must for those who want to have a little extra security in place for their laptops, mobiles and tablets.

Criminals can lurk around public networks, looking for their next victim. Enable multi-layers of protection on email, social networking and bank accounts to keep your data safe.

Use a VPN (virtual private network)

This is one of the most effective (and simplest) ways of keeping your information safe when using public Wi-Fi. A virtual private network will reroute your traffic through a private, encrypted network.

All that’s needed is a quick download of a VPN app on your phone or mobile device and remembering to access your VPN before connecting to the internet. Take a look at PC Mags best VPN services of 2017 (some of which are completely free).

Keep on top of security updates

Perhaps one of the most difficult methods of security is getting your users to remember those dreaded updates. Often seen as a hassle, a lot of us just don’t see the importance of regularly updating our operating systems.

Then, in came WannaCry…

The hugely damaging ransomware attack shook the NHS and all started due to a delayed Windows update that went on to affect hundreds of thousands of computers. If WannaCry taught us one thing, it’s that staying on top of software updates is the most prudent way to protect yourself against hackers and cybercriminals.

Turn off file-sharing and close shared files on your computer

Sharing folders can be a great way of working collaboratively with your team, as well as sharing photos with friends and family. But one thing that many of us don’t realise, is that once your computer connects to a public Wi-Fi, those folders can be viewed by anyone else on your network.

Make sure to close them and turn off file-sharing before logging onto a public network with your laptop or mobile device. Also, adjusting your privacy settings to ensure they are different for public and private networks is important to remember.

Avoid signing in to accounts that contain personal information, including social media and online banking

Assuming that you’ve taken precautions beforehand, the next step is to be cautious after logging onto a public network. One of the best ways to play it safe is to avoid logging into any accounts that contain personal information, such as social media, work email and especially, online banking.

The best way to remember this is that even though a website itself might be reputable, personal information still isn’t secure as long as the network is insecure.

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