Secure Surfing On Public Wi-Fi
Colorado Springs averages about 6% of its adult workers working remotely.
That’s a lot of us looking for wifi hotspots to get our work done throughout the day. It also means that we’re getting used to public wifi, and we start to forget the security risks. Here are some ways you can keep your information safer if you’re using public Wi-Fi.
- The safest option is to turn your mobile phone into a hotspot. You can avoid using unknown public networks. Switch on the “personal hotspot” option in your phone’s settings. You’ve got a password-protected network for your use alone. (Note that this method uses your phone’s data, so if your phone plan has limited data this can use it up quickly.)
- If you work outside the office all the time, invest in a mobile Wi-Fi device (like MiFi or Karma) for secure Wi-Fi on the go.
- If you must connect to a public Wi-Fi network, the safest way to do that is by using a VPN, or “virtual private network.” VPNs encrypt data and connect you to secure servers. This makes it more difficult for others to see what you’re doing through public Wi-Fi loopholes. There are both free and paid VPN clients out there, and in most cases, you’ll get what you pay for. In other words, the paid services are less likely to be suspect.
- No matter how you get online when you’re out and about, it’s important to practice good internet hygiene. That means checking to see if HTTPS is at the start of web addresses you visit (‘s’ means secure). Change your passwords often (try LastPass.com to manage passwords). You should enable two-factor authentication for apps and services you use.
- Be sure to turn off file sharing and “forget” the public network when you’re done using it.
- Always avoid using websites that contain sensitive data when on public Wi-Fi. For example, don’t use online banking; it could compromise your identity.