Man in coffee shop using smartphone

6 Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi

December 29, 2020 by Hunter Swanson

We have the internet virtually everywhere we go. As useful as it is, we still need to be careful when accessing it. Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, airports, schools, hotels, and other public places are convenient, but not always secure. If you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, and send information through websites or mobile apps, it can be accessed by someone else.

Here are six tips to protect your information when using public Wi-Fi:


1. Assume a Wi-Fi hotspot is not secure
  • Always look for https at the start of every web address (the “s” is for secure)
     
2. Send information only to sites that are fully encrypted (sites with https)
  • Encryption scrambles information sent to and from you into a code so it’s not accessible to others
     
3. When on a mobile app, use a secure wireless network or your phone’s data network
  • Apps don’t have a visible indicator like https
     
4. Log out of your accounts when you’re done
  • Leave windows open for only as long as you need to
     
5. Create a different password for each unique sites you visit
  • This protects your accounts if someone gains access to one of them
     
6. Adjust your mobile settings so you can manually connect to a nearby Wi-Fi
  • You can find a secure network instead of accidentally connecting to the wrong one

So next time you’re at Starbucks working on your laptop or standing in line on your phone, these six tips will help protect your information. Stay safe and enjoy using the worldwide web wherever you go.

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