The expectation for more reliable, higher speed and ubiquitous Wi-Fi exploded when smartphones and smart devices hit the market. But, before you start using public Wi-Fi, ask yourself a simple question: Do you really want to use public Wi-Fi?

 

Wi-Fi hotspots allow you access to the Internet in locations outside of your home network but also leave you susceptible to hackers. An eavesdropper can sit up to 100 feet away and monitor what you are doing on your system because those hotspots don’t require data encryption. The good news, you can download free encryption software.

In an attempt to address availability and safety, the multi-media/cable company, Comcast has been swapping out customers’ old routers with close to eight million new ones capable of doubling as public hotspots. Anyone with an Xfinity account can register their devices (laptop, tablet, phone) and the public network will always keep them registered — at a friend’s home, coffee shop or bus stop that also has Comcast service. No more asking for your friend’s Wi-Fi network password.

 

Outsiders do not get access to your private, password-protected home network as each box has two separate antennae, one dedicated to home and the other to “public” use. The second Wi-Fi signal was meant for guests at home, not on the street, so anyone camped in your front yard will have a difficult time tapping into the public network.

 

“If you’re using Wi-Fi in a public place and you’re not getting hacked, it’s only because there’s nobody around bothering to do it,” says Robert Graham, CEO of consultancy Errata Security. If you fall prey to hackers they will steal your personal information and other sensitive data. It is essential to remain alert so that your safety, passwords and information is not compromised online.

Here are a few tips to stay Wi-Fi safe:

Verify location name/password

Make sure to verify the name of the network with staff or signage before connecting. Don’t connect to an unknown name as that is falsely put up by a hacker.

Turn the Sharing Option Off

Are you sharing any stuff through WiFi? Music, files, pictures or anything… you are open to sharing your private information with hackers too.

Use a Virtual Private Network

VPN is known to channel your connection through a series of security options. This ensures that the hackers are not able to access your network with ease.

Stop Connecting Automatically to Public WiFi Networks

Make sure to log off any services you were signed into. Then, tell your device to forget the network. You should choose between the available networks manually and find the right one to access the Internet safely when you need the service, not automatically.

Use HTTPS in Place of HTTP

Move from using HTTP to HTTPS. You can also enable an SSL. It is going to encrypt all the data, which passes through your server. Thus, it will remain safe from the access of the hackers.

 

Follow the above tips and you’ll be making your mobile device a little more difficult for hackers to access. Which is a good thing if you prefer to keep your private information private.
To learn more about Wi-Fi in athletic stadiums, visit our previous post: Are you ready for some Wi-Fi with your football?