Tips to Use Public Internet Connections More Securely

Table of Contents

Public Wi-Fi Is Unsafe

Hackers and Public Wi-Fi

Fake Hotspots

Share Files

Popups

Unauthorized Users

Secured and Unsecured Wi-Fi

Secured Wi-Fi

Unsecured Wi-Fi

Tips to Stay Safe

In Summary

 

There are many reasons why some of us may need access to the internet when we are outside our homes. You may need to respond to an email urgently, or you may have to log in to your account to pull up some information. Regardless of the reason, you would be forced to resort to using a public internet connection to do what is necessary.

A free public wireless connection may seem like the perfect solution to your conundrum, but it’s not that simple. Hackers are lurking around these connections, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims who don’t know about the dangers of public networks. To keep yourself and your device safe from scammers, have a look at some of the tips we have listed in this guide.

Public Wi-Fi Is Unsafe

Wireless networks at your homes are secured with the aid of various security measures. We create strong passwords to access the network or encrypt the data that we are sending and receiving, and control who has access to the connection. These settings help protect your networks from unauthorized access and also prevent your information from falling into the wrong hands. When you are using a public connection, things are not so simple.

Most public networks are unsecured. When you use an unsecured network, other users may be able to observe your online activities. They may be able to see what you see on your screen and access your login details for your accounts. In some cases, they can also hack into your system using creative techniques. You need to learn about the risks of using public networks before you begin using the connection.

Once a scammer gets hold of your private information, they can do anything they want with it. They can log in to your account and impersonate you or just find the information they need and leave. This is possible on any of your social media accounts, and even your financial accounts. It is better to access your finances when you are connected through a secure connection.

You should also know that when you agree to the terms and conditions of joining a connection, you may be agreeing to share your information with them, which they can in turn sell to a third party. Some connections may require you to install a digital certificate before you can use the internet. The certificate is meant to scan the device for threats, but it can also track your online activity from there on out.

Hackers and Public Wi-Fi

If you know what hackers are looking for on a public network, you’ll be better prepared to stop them from accessing your information.

Fake Hotspots

Hotspots can be found easily in public places, promising to offer users a free internet connection. And while that may be so, the hackers can track your activity once you establish a connection.

Share Files

If your Bluetooth connection is on and available to the public, your device is more susceptible to getting infected. Those files may also contain malware and other viruses that can corrupt your hard disks and even encrypt them.

Popups

When you are connected to a public network, you may see popups warning you of some virus and prompting you to click on a link. These alerts are usually fake and you should be careful when you surf the internet.

Unauthorized Users

As we mentioned previously, your activities can be tracked and hackers can observe the sites you visit. Whenever you enter your login details, anyone observing the site will be able to copy that and access your profiles.

Secured and Unsecured Wi-Fi

A public network is usually unsecured and managed by others. The networks in your home are protected by passwords and other security measures, but none of these measures are applied to open public networks.

Secured Wi-Fi

Secured networks require users to register an account, log in using some credentials, or agree to some terms and conditions. It requires you to make a bit of an effort; before they let you use the services. In some cases, you may also have to pay an amount to access the internet. It’s always better for you to choose a secured connection instead of an unsecured one.

Unsecured Wi-Fi

An unsecured network is an open network that doesn’t require you to go through a screening process of any sort. To access the connection, all you will need to do is click on the network and wait for it to connect. You will be able to use the network as long as you are in the range of the network.

Tips to Stay Safe

We have established the fact that you need to be alert if you want to stay safe on a public network. To ensure your safety, have a look at some of the tips you can keep in mind.

  1. The simplest measure you can take is to download antivirus software on your devices. Once you have this software installed, you will be able to receive necessary warnings when interacting with malicious software and files unknowingly.
  2. Turn off or deactivate AirDrop and Bluetooth on your devices so people cannot send you unnecessary files and images. Only keep these features open to devices of friends, family, and known contacts.
  3. If possible, always opt for a secured network that can protect you from being observed by hackers.
  4. Don’t download content when you are on public networks or visit unsecured sites while using those networks. Only do so on secured connections.
  5. Whenever you access any website, check if it is secured. You can do so by checking if the padlock icon is showing up before the website address. You can also check if the website address begins with HTTPS instead of HTTP. The ‘s’ indicates that the website is secure, in most cases.

In Summary

If you are not wary of the dangers online, you can fall victim to one of the scammers’ threats. You should always choose to connect to the network in your household, which is secured by several measures. Consider Mediacom internet plans if you are looking for an internet connection in your area.

 

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