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How to Stay Safe When Using Public WiFi

Overview: Using public WiFi connections can feel like a miracle sometimes but they're not all good news. In addition to providing emergency internet, these free and public connections can also be make you susceptible to certain security breaches. Do you use free WiFi? How careful are you when you use it? Read the blog below to find out how to safer when using public network connections.

You've brought your laptop out with you for a coffee and you need to connect to the internet. No problem, just browse for some free WIFI right? No exactly. While free WIFI can be a great service, it can also cause some serious security issues for you and your device. What steps, if any, do you take to make your public network browsing more secure? In this blog we'll take a look at the the different ways you can make your public WiFi experience safer.

Take care when choosing your network

When you're in a public area and you browse for networks, there's usually plenty of locked and unlocked networks available. But instead of choosing the first unlocked network named “Free Wifi” you can, make you confirm with the shop or location that you're in that there is free WiFi in the first place. Otherwise you could easily become the victim of a man in the middle attack whereby someone sets up a phony network entitled something enticing like “Free WiFi” or “name of location WiFi.”

Check sites for HTTPS

When you're sure that the WiFi network you're using is legitimate, it's also good practice to make sure the sites you're visiting are marked as HTTPS. How to do this? When you visit a site, check the start of the address bar and there should be a padlock symbol and the starting letters “HTTPS.” What does this mean? HTTPS, Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is a communication protocol that provides a level of encryption to a website and essentially means that any information that you enter into that site is not accessible by the network. While not all sites have these, if you're ever entering any confidential information into a site then you should check for the padlock symbol first.

Try Using a VPN

Using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a great way of boosting your security while browsing a public network. A VPN works by encrypting your browsing data so that it's much tougher for others to get access to your information.

There are plenty of free and paid VPN clients available and you can even hide or change your browsing location when connected.

Bottom Line: No matter whether you're a heavy public WiFi user, or if you just use it occasionally, taking steps to increase your security is always a good idea. From confirming the legitimacy of the networks you're planning on joining to browsing through a VPN, there are various ways to increase your public WiFi security. Our favourite has to be simply checking with the staff or signage to confirm what the network name is. Instead, you'll be one of the many who keep clicking on unlocked connections until one works, and this is an all to easy way for an intruder to steal data.

For more information on any of the services we provide, such as Satellite TV and network installations, contact Alberta Pro Group in Calgary today on 1-855-333-1223.

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