7 Ways to Protect Your Data When Using Public Wi-Fi

There is almost no escaping using public Wi-Fi today. With the need to stay online all the time to communicate with our colleagues, stay informed, transact, and much more, you would not miss an opportunity to join a public network.

When you are at a cafe or any public space, avoiding using the public networks available to respond to emails or even decompress by playing Mayan Lost Treasure on Sloto during your lunch break is difficult.

While the public internet comes in handy, it also risks data security. Awareness of the risks of using public Wi-Fi and the data protection measures to take is vital.

1. Use A VPN App

One of the best ways to protect your information data when on a public network is to use a VPN. Your traffic will be redirected through a secure and private network.

All you need to do is to activate your VPN before connecting to public Wi-Fi on your device.

A VPN encrypts your data blocking cybercriminals from monitoring your online activities and reading your data in case they successfully intercept. Your concerns about external security will therefore be addressed regardless of where you go.

2. Use Two-Factor Authentication on Your Accounts

Two-factor authentication is among the least frequently used and underestimated defense techniques. Two-factor authentication is required for those who wish to add a security layer to their devices.

Criminals may prowl public internet connections in search of their next prey. To protect your data when browsing from a cafe or park, use two-factor authentication on accounts with sensitive information, such as bank and social media accounts.

3. Assess @Your Bluetooth Connection

An active Bluetooth connection in public is a security risk, especially when using public Wi-Fi. To gain access to information about the intended device, cybercriminals can look for active Bluetooth signals. They can use that information to hack the device after that.

Bluejacking, Bluebugging, and Bluesnarfing are Bluetooth breach techniques that pose a cyber threat in public settings and can be used to transfer, gather, or change data and services on the device.

Furthermore, Bluetooth flaws can provide nefarious parties total control over a user’s Bluetooth device. Access to networks and personal data may be made possible through this.

4. Update Software on Your Devices

Updating software is one of the most dreaded tasks. However, ignoring them does more harm than good. You will not save time. Instead, you will expose your device to malicious attacks.

Stay on top of your software updates to protect your device even when using unsecured public internet connections.

These updates come with new features, bug fixes, and performance enhancements. They also include new security features and security fixes, which should be installed. Patches are essential as they correct program flaws and vulnerabilities, which hackers might use to infect your devices with malware.

5. Avoid and Turn Off File Sharing

When using public Wi-Fi, avoid file sharing with your colleague. If there was an active file sharing, consider closing it.

Collaborating with your team by sharing documents while on the go using public Wi-Fi is great. However, it gives hackers an opportunity to compromise your device and data.

Most people are unaware that anyone on your network can read those files once your computer connects to a public Wi-Fi.

Before connecting your laptop or mobile device to a public network, close files and documents and disable file-sharing; remember to change your privacy settings, which are different for private and public networks.

You can quickly and conveniently share files using a public Wi-Fi network. However, it carries several security hazards.

6. Don’t Sign into Accounts with Sensitive Information

Exercise caution when connecting to a public network. Avoiding accessing accounts containing sensitive information, such as social media, work email, and especially online banking, is one of the greatest methods to be safe.

The simplest way to keep this in mind is that even if a website is trustworthy, personal data is still not secure so long as the network is vulnerable.

While some public internet networks are encrypted, most are not. Suppose the network is compromised and not secure. In that case, there is a high chance that a hacker could eavesdrop on your online activities and the data your device transacts, including login details to your bank accounts and other sensitive data.

7. Avoid Using the Same Password for Different Accounts

Having unique passwords for different accounts will significantly enhance your data security, especially on public Wi-Fi networks. Diversified passwords make a breach a lot more challenging for hackers.

If you use the same password across several websites and a hacker manages to get hold of one of them, they will figure out the passwords could also work on other accounts and services.

This can be particularly problematic if such accounts contain sensitive data such as your Social Security number, access pins, and bank account PINs.

In essence, the best-protected accounts become as insecure as the already breached account.

It will be more challenging to hack all of your accounts if you use unique passwords. Ensuring every password is strong adds an extra layer of security. Use a password with at least eight characters constituting numbers, letters, and symbols.

Conclusion

Public Wi-Fi networks are tempting and convenient. Unfortunately, most of them are insecure. Take proactive steps to keep your data safe when using public internet connections at your favorite restaurants, cafes, and parks.