How to protect yourself from public Wi-Fi

I am not sure about others, but me myself often ask this question when I connect myself to a public Wi-Fi, “is this network safe?, and how do I know if there will not be any hackers targeting this network?

One of the reasons to set password for your private network is to ensure that there is no unauthorized access from anyone, especially hackers. The reason for such decision is because a hacker can technically obtain access to all devices that are in the network and from there, do their hacking accordingly. That’s how company IT remote access their company device.

So, to make it clear, there certainly have risks when connecting to public Wi-Fi and the risk is quite big too. For that reason, we will need to know how to protect ourselves from when accessing public Wi-Fi.

The most effective way

Connect to your mobile hotspot

When connecting your mobile hotspot, you can be sure that safety is least of your concern. Technically, you are connecting to your network, so it surely is safe (but of course, your mobile should not get hack first)

The alternative

many of us can’t use our mobile hotspot, for various reasons, so what else can we do when connecting to public wi-fi?

Know what you are connecting

It is a high risk when you access wi-fi that comes from nowhere. Norton shared an article before, saying that there are generally 2 types of Wi-Fi, secured and unsecured. Secured type is the one that needs some sort of commitment to get access. For example, like a password. Unsecured is the type of Wi-Fi where everyone can access without any input. The reason to access a secured network is that it required some effort to access, which will help filter out hackers or cyber attackers from accessing.  

Don’t do banking stuff when connecting to a public wi-fi

We should all understand that sometimes, there is a risk even doing banking stuff using our private network. So, it sure is a wise choice to not do banking stuff when connecting to public wi-fi. The reason is fairly simple, those hackers that are connecting to the same network as you will be able to monitor, imitate, and access your device, which in turns, your bank account.

Access on HTTPS

HTTP means unencrypted connection, HTTPS means encrypted connection. Although accessing HTTPS site does not necessarily guarantee safe connection, but at least it makes it harder for the hacker to get a piece of the data that are traveling between you and the server of the website. 

Don’t make a purchase online

We are very well connected nowadays, which makes it easy for us to purchase anything. However, it is wise to not make any purchase when connected to public Wi-Fi. Try think back the last time you make an online purchase, what information did you provide? Well, for your information, all this information can be easily recorded by hackers that are in the same network as you. 

Use a VPN

I think this is the most secure way to access public Wi-Fi, other than connecting to your mobile network. Accessing a VPN, Virtual Private Network will ensure that your connection to the internet is private. Although there might be cases where security flaws expose your IP address, that is not something happening every day. I am using VPN for my Mobile and computer, and will surely turn them on when I want to do banking stuff (yes, even when connecting to my private network). 

Final Verdict

Everyone will face the situation where you need to connect to public Wi-Fi to get things done. I know that you know that and the hacker knows that too. So, following the step above will make sure that we are at least one step safer when using public Wi-Fi. 

But still, it is crucial to have sound knowledge on cybersecurity so keep yourself safe from the cyber world. Attending a cybersecurity awareness course is one of the ways to gain knowledge of cybersecurity. Don’t wait till it is too late. 

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