Public Wi-Fi is now available at almost every location and it just makes sense to make use of it because why not. You are getting the access at no cost whatsoever and you don’t have to worry about any limitations on bandwidth either. This is the reason people are flocking towards locations where public Wi-Fi is readily available. As enticing as this service is however, it is equally dangerous. All of your activity on a public network is recorded, which means that if anyone hacks into it, all of your personal information will not remain personal anymore. Knowing that, we have outlined some dos and don’ts of public Wi-Fi. They will help you keep your details safe and still be able to enjoy the free services.
Do Use VPN
Before connecting to public network, make sure that install a VPN on to your device. It can be any VPN – you don’t even need to buy one as you can use a free one. All you have to do is enable it on your device, and you will be on a completely new server with new IP address. With your actual IP and server hidden, now you can connect to public Wi-Fi. This helps in keeping you and your activity anonymous from the prying eyes. Everything that you do on a public network is logged and if anyone has hacked into it, then they will be getting each and every bit of information that put in. However, with VPN in place, your activity will route through completely different server which means it won’t be logged and even if someone has successfully hacked into the network, they won’t gain access to your details.
Do Disable File-Sharing
Whenever you connect to a new network, you are asked what kind of network it is. Options include Home, Work, and Public. Most people don’t pay heed to this and just select the first option they come across. When you select Home or Work, the file sharing gets automatically enabled. This means people using the similar network can send files to your device without you even knowing about it. So, whenever you connect to a free Wi-Fi, make sure to select the Public Network option. If by any chance, you select Home or Work network, then you will have to manually disable file-sharing. This is a bit of an annoyance but the best part is that you only have to it once per network. Once your settings are saved, you will no longer have to visit the settings again.
Do Use Antivirus
Antivirus has saved us on more than one occasion from all kinds of malware. This is the reason people download one as soon as they get the device. If you are using public Wi-Fi on regular basis, then it is important that keep an antivirus around. If the hacker tries to sneak in malware, it will be caught by the antivirus software and will be removed from the system before it can do any damage. Viruses come in all types. Some of them are adware that keep opening ads all the time you are browsing, while some of them are able to attack your system software. There is no good kind of malware, so it is better to keep them away by utilizing antivirus software
Don’t Put Bank Details
Most people that hack into public networks are usually looking for an easy way to make money. When you input your bank details, they are logged, and can be misused by the hackers. Bank details really shouldn’t be put in anywhere, even at the workplace because of the similar conditions. Everything you do while you are using a certain network is logged. This means that if anyone hacks into the network, they will be able to see this logged activity and can misuse it to their advantage. Bank details are incredibly sensitive and once someone gets a hold of them, things can get pretty messy. However, this doesn’t just apply to bank details, you also have to be careful about putting in other information. As mentioned before, all of your activity is being recorded and if you are not careful, all of it can get in the wrong hands. To save yourself and your details from all the trouble, it is better to only access them while you are on the home network.
Don’t Remember the Network
As soon as you are done using the public Wi-Fi, don’t just disconnect. Also make sure that you forget it from your device. You don’t want to unintentionally connect to a public network because it will not bode well for either you or your device. Even if you make use of it on regular basis, it is still advised that you don’t put your trust in a public Wi-Fi and when you are about to log out, make sure that forget the network as well. Putting in password every single day would surely be small hassle, but it’s better than losing all of your personal information to a hacker.
Don’t Save Passwords
Even if you are logging into your social networking sites or bank account via public network, it is advised that you don’t save passwords. Once the passwords are saved, anyone can gain access to them and that is definitely not recommended. Things won’t end well for you or your accounts. At home network, these things can be done because that connection is only used by the people in one household. However, on public network, you don’t know who is using it. Even if you come to know that your information is being misused by someone, you won’t be able to catch them because hundreds of people connect to public networks every day and if you are not careful, you can become their victim.