Follow these to stay safe while on a public Wi-Fi .Public Wi-Fi is a great means to access the Web when you’re out from your home, away with no access to your flashy hi-speed connection. Though public Wi-Fi networks are free to use, they can result into a great payback if you don’t use them cautiously. As these are connections shared with several other people, there is an elevated data risk.
It is rather easy for notorious computer users, who are on the same network as you are, to fetch your sensitive info like username and password. Moreover, they can approximate your actions over the public network connection.
Therefore it’s better to take some preventive measures to avoid any unwanted activity. Here’s how you can play safe while on a public Wi-Fi connection:
1. Turn-off Wi-Fi when not using
When you’re not using the Wi-Fi, it’s a much sensible option to turn off the option as it will protect you from any kind of snooping activity over the network as well as it will save some of your device’s juice.
In Windows: Click on the signal icon in the taskbar. You will see a Wi-Fi option. Turn it off to disconnect the public network from your system.
In Mac OS X: Go to menu bar and click on the Wi-Fi icon. You’ll now see an AirPort option. Disable it to disconnect your Mac from the network.
In Smartphones: Open the Settings bar by swiping down on the screen. You’ll find a Wi-Fi icon, turn it off.
2. Use Firewall
Though Firewall is not a replacement for some snooping defending program, it is still good to make use of the built-in option. Obviously, a firewall doesn’t gives you complete protection from notorious elements over the connection; it still keeps you away from the reach of suspicious users on the same network. With the firewall, you can also grant individual permissions to individual programs that whether they should access the network or not.
In Windows: Open Control Panel. Navigate to System & Security. You’ll see an icon with Windows Firewall text. Click it to ensure that it is working. If it is off, turn it on.
In Mac OS X: Go to System Preferences. Now navigate to Security & Privacy. There’ll be a Firewall icon, click on it. Make sure the firewall is working and is on.
3. Turn-off Sharing
Sharing is not a sensible option when you’re using a public Wi-Fi, especially when you’re unsure of your network connection security. Therefore, sharing options should be turned-off at such situation as snooping with sharing enabled is much easier than doing it in the absence of Sharing enabled.
- Navigate to Control Panel
- Go to Network and Internet, and then to Network and Sharing Center
- Click on Change Advanced Sharing Settings
- Turn off all the options namely, file and printer sharing, network discovery, and public folder sharing
In Mac OS X:
- Visit System Preferences
- From there, navigate to Sharing
- Uncheck all the checkboxes
4. Only use HTTPS and SSL
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Terminal Protocol Secured while SSL is the acronym for Secure Socket Layer. These provide additional layer of security over the conventional HTTP.
In HTTP the data transferred over it is encrypted which means that it is easy for someone with the knowledge of network connections to sniff info from the data transferred. HTTPS and SSL, on the other hand, encrypt data so that no one can sniff around while you transfer data over ‘em.
Though you can access many websites by typing HTTPS instead of the HTTP, it is advised to transfer confidential info, like banking details, while at home or using a secured connection.
5. Use a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. What exactly a VPN does is that, it routes all your data via a secure private network. This means while on a public network, you’ll have a private connection with a high-level of security.
Read More about VPN – Top 3 Free VPN Services Without Any Installation.
There are a number of VPN available for Windows, Mac OS X and Smartphones. You can download them and start using to keep your device safe while on a public Wi-Fi.
Ok! That’s it. The above-mentioned steps will help you make your browsing much safer than ever.