Pro Tips on How to Safeguard Your Data When Using Public Wi-Fi

In this digital age, we are constantly connected. Whether you’re at home, at work, or at a local café; we now have access to the internet almost anywhere we go. That being said, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in an unfamiliar location with limited connectivity options – like a public Wi-Fi network. For most people, connecting to a public Wi-Fi network is as simple as choosing the network and entering its password. Unfortunately, these unsecured networks are also some of the most common places cybercriminals target in order to steal user information and data. Fortunately, there are some pro tips that can help you safeguard your data when using public Wi-Fi networks. Keep reading for more details.

Use a VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are some of the best ways to protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi. If you’re not familiar with VPNs, these secure networks encrypt all data sent and received from your devices. This means that even if someone was to intercept your data, they would not be able to read it. For example, let’s say you’re browsing the web in a café that offers public Wi-Fi. If you’re not using a VPN, your data could be intercepted by other patrons using that same network. This could allow them to see every website you visit, login credentials, and any private data you send or receive. However, if you’re connected to a VPN, this data will first be encrypted on your device before being sent to the VPN server. This means that other patrons on the network can’t read your data.

Avoid Accessing Private Data on Public Wi-Fi

As mentioned above, one of the main ways hackers can steal your information is by intercepting your data as it travels to and from your device. For example, let’s say you log into your bank account on your laptop while connected to public Wi-Fi. Your computer will send your credentials to the bank’s servers and also receive any information you need. This process can be observed by any hackers on the same network. The same goes for accessing sensitive information like your email, social media accounts, or other login credentials. Accessing this information on public Wi-Fi could put your sensitive information at risk. Because public Wi-Fi is unsecured, it’s best to avoid accessing sensitive information while using these networks.

Don’t Use Apps From Unknown Sources

While connected to public Wi-Fi, you should avoid downloading apps from unknown sources. Most mobile devices allow users to turn on the “Unknown Sources” setting. This means that you can download apps from sources other than the App Store or Google Play. Most people turn this feature on in order to download apps not available on the App Store or Google Play. While this is a common practice and can be helpful, it can also put your device at risk. If you download an app from an unknown source and it contains malware, hackers could steal your data. This includes your device’s location, other devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, and sensitive information like login credentials. For this reason, it’s best to avoid downloading apps from unknown sources while on public Wi-Fi. This will help reduce your risk of encountering malicious software.

Don’t Visit Suspicious Websites

Another thing to avoid while on public Wi-Fi is visiting suspicious websites. Let’s say you decide to check your financial investment portfolio while connected to a public Wi-Fi network. You open a popular financial website and begin browsing the site’s homepage. That same financial website may have been hacked and now be hosting malicious software on its homepage. This could put your device at risk of being infected with malware. In some cases, you may even be redirected to a different website altogether. This is called a “phishing” attack and is a common way hackers try to steal user credentials. What’s worse is that you’d never know you visited a malicious or phishing website since it would just appear as if you were browsing a legitimate site. For this reason, it’s best to avoid visiting suspicious websites while connected to public Wi-Fi.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several ways hackers can exploit public Wi-Fi networks in order to steal your data. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can protect yourself. When on public Wi-Fi, it’s important to use a VPN to encrypt your data, avoid accessing sensitive information, and avoid visiting suspicious websites. Doing so will help you safeguard your data by keeping it out of the wrong hands. However, even if you follow all of these tips, it is important to remember that nothing is 100% secure. Although data encryption and other security features help a lot, they still only reduce the risk of being attacked. You can never be fully sure that you won’t be hacked, but you can reduce the risk as much as possible by following these tips.

Looking for more information?

A cyber liability policy can help cover your business and keep you updated with industry tips like this one. Get in touch with us today to learn more about cyber liability insurance coverage, or set up a no-obligation consultation with a commercial lines expert through TelaClient.com.

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