WiFi hotspots provide a simple and quick way to connect to the internet. The technology offers high level of flexibility, allowing you to connect multiple devices with just a click or tap. As the smartphone revolution enters a new era, WiFi technology is entering its own new stage of advancement.
When you come across a public WiFi hotspot, it is easy to get lured and connect to the network for the free data. However, any WiFi network, including public ones, come with their share of security threats. Make sure to follow these 7 tips to avoid hacker attacks when using public WiFi.
- Turn Off the Sharing Option
When connecting to a public WiFi, you wouldn’t want to share your data with anyone. Since there is the option to turn-off the sharing option, you should use it to keep your system safe and protected from potential hacker attacks. Windows is going to turn off the sharing option the first time you select the ‘public’ option. On the other hand, you can yourself turn off the option from within ‘Settings’ or ‘Control Panel’.
- Keep Your Antimalware Software Up-to-Date
Before you connect to a public network make sure to keep your antimalware software up-to-date. The software cannot protect your system and data if it is not updated to the latest security patch. Studies show that not more than 20% of users update their antimalware programs when they receive the notification. It takes only a few minutes to reduce the risk of hacker attacks on a WiFi.
- Use a VPN
It is highly recommended to use a powerful VPN when connecting to a public WiFi hotspot. Even if an attack takes place and a hacker gets access to the data being transmitted, the VPN will encrypt the data to prevent access. All the data transmitted between your device and server stay protected.
Most hackers are looking for targets which can be easily attacked and the data can be easily accessed. Since VPN makes it almost impossible to achieve these goals, hackers are mostly discouraged from going through the process.
- Open only HTTPS Websites with SSL Certificates
It is generally recommended to open only HTTPS and SSL websites, even when you are not using a public WiFi. These websites have high level of security and have excellent protection from potential security threats. Using a VPN in conjunction can add another crucial layer of security.
It is recommended to enable option to always use HTTPS sites on your browser. This can especially prove to be helpful in encrypting any username and password data that may be sent over the network.
- Avoid Logging into Sensitive Accounts
Even when you use all the above-mentioned tips, it is recommended to avoid logging into your sensitive accounts when using a public WiFi. This especially includes your bank or other financial accounts. It is also recommended to avoid any online purchase transactions. You should go a step further and log out of all your personal accounts before you connect to the hotspot. This can especially be beneficial in situations where you use same or similar passwords for different accounts.
- Never Connect to Unencrypted WiFi Networks
Unencrypted networks aren’t protected by passwords. When you log into such networks, you are making it easy for potential hackers to attack your system. Anyone can log into such networks. It is also worth knowing that potential hackers can create open but fake WiFi hotspots with the intention of inviting people to connect. You should simply avoid unencrypted public WiFi connections at all times.
- Turn Off Your WiFi When not Using the Internet
It can further help to prevent attacks if you turn off your device’s WiFi when not in use of the internet. This is because even when you aren’t connected to a network, some data continues to be transmitted between your device and a network within reach. If you don’t need to access the internet for some time, it is best to turn off the WiFi.
So follow these tips to prevent hacker attacks when connecting to a public WiFi. If you take all these precautions, you will be doing just right to stay safe at all times. This can help create multiple layers of security and keep your data and system protected.