How To: Use Public Wi-Fi Safely

Public Wifi

How To: Use Public Wi-Fi Safely

When traveling away from home or from the office public Wi-Fi is often relied upon. However, taking care on public networks is paramount to keeping your data safe.

Public networks by nature are shared environments and are therefore more susceptible to security risks.


Use the following tips to keep safe on public Wi-Fi networks.

Is the Wi-Fi Connection Trusted?

When connecting to a public Wi-Fi network think twice about the network name. Wi-Fi networks in the same area can be setup to lure you into connecting to them, after which your login details and personal information could be captured. Always check with the business providing the Wi-Fi network the correct network name to connect to.


Use Two-Factor Authentication

When you can, make use of two-factor authentication, a method for login credentials in addition to your password. Many websites and online platforms offer this either in the form of an SMS sent to your mobile with a login code, or a key token you carry that generates a time code. If someone obtains your login credentials on a public Wi-Fi network they still need access to the second form of authentication.


Update Your Security Software Regularly

Ensure you have an active anti-virus program on your computer that protects against viruses and malware. It is also important to keep it up to date with the latest releases. This will ensure that if your device is compromised you will have the latest tools to avoid further damage.


Check Website Security

Websites that start with the prefix https: indicate an encrypted connection. Where possible check the website address starts with https: and avoid logging into http: websites. Logging into https: websites makes it much harder for the data from your device to be read by a third party.


VPNs Provide Additional Security

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tunnel that encrypts the data from your device to a VPN server, which then sends on to the destination. Most VPNs have a monthly or annual charge however this is a great way to stay safe in public environments as it is very difficult for a third party to read encrypted data.


Following these simple tips will help you reduce the risks of using public Wi-Fi. If you do not trust the networks ideally you should use your mobile data together with a corporate VPN.

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