How to Stay Secure While Using a Public Wi-Fi Connection
Many of us connect to the internet every single day. Sometimes it’s through our desktop PCs at work or at home, but in most cases it’s when we’re on the go we’re using laptops or our mobile phones to check our emails, scroll through social media, and stay up to date on current news and information.
This surge in mobile browsing has encouraged many internet providers to offer “hotspots” in specific areas of the city, or throughout parts of the province. But even though these hotspots may be convenient to connect to, they aren’t always secure and come with a variety of security risks that it’s important to be aware of. Sharing your personal information may feel safe and secure, but if the wifi connection isn’t secure you may be putting yourself at risk!
Below we’ll cover some basic guidelines for staying safe and secure while browsing the internet on a public wi-fi connection:
Don’t perform tasks that require your credit card
While it may be convenient to check your bank balance, order that item from Amazon, or pay your bills while grabbing a cup of coffee or waiting in line, inputting your credit card information while on an unsecured wi-fi network is never a safe idea.
Use a guest account when connecting to a public network
Windows and Apple products allow you to create a Guest account on your laptop or tablet to use while connected to a public wi-fi network. A guest account won’t be have access to the personal information which may be saved on your personal user account, and is an easy way to stay safe but still enjoy the convenience of browsing online.
Use “two factor authentication”
Two-factor authentication, which requires you to have more than just a username and password, is one of the best ways to add an extra layer of security while browsing at a public wi-fi hotspot. Generally this process also involves sending a unique code to your mobile phone, which you then enter along with your username and password. We recommend tools like Google Authenticator and the Microsoft Authenticator app for this purpose (for more information, give us a call at 204-586-7953)
Make sure your operating system and security programs are all up-to-date
Making sure that your version of Windows, OS X or Linux has been updated recently, and that your antivirus programs are equipped with the latest versions and updates can help keep spyware, malware, and hackers from infiltrating your device from a public wi-fi hotspot.
If you’re looking for more ways to keep your PC or laptop safe and secure, give us a call at 204-586-7953 or drop us a line. Don’t forget to ask about our Monthly Maintenance and Security Program and find out how our monthly service can keep you secure.