The Internet has revolutionized the civilization in a very drastic way. It has connected people from different parts of the world. This is the reason how Public Wi-Fi hotspots comes into the picture and has changed the way we live and work. These makes quite easy for us to stay connected to the Internet even when we are not at our house, having coffee at a cafe, or when we are on vacation, or even when we are in a moving vehicle. But we forget that not all the public wireless networks are created equal when it comes to protecting your data and information which is private.
Let us have a look on some of the most common risks which we take unknowingly when we hook up to any public Wi-Fi and how we can minimize the effect of it.
Check the Network
Hackers are the biggest threat to your data and other relevant private information. One simple way by which hackers can gain easy access to your data is by getting the name of a network spoofed. This is also called man-in-the-middle attack, and this attack is as dangerous as it sounds.
How does it work?
Imagine yourself to be in a café, and you can see some open Wi-Fi network which has the name of the restaurant itself. It may seem safe enough, but it may not be so. Sometimes to extract data and other information hackers creates open networks of Wi-Fi which are fake using the by using the name of a nearby business or a café which may seem to be quite safe but it is not. Hence, once you connect to their dummy network, they can easily intercept your data and other information which may be quite important for you.
Now the question which may arise in your mind can be how to get rid of these dummy Wi-Fi networks. To prevent this, you must confirm the name of the business correct wi-fi network with an employee before connecting to it. Fake networks may have names which are similar but will not have the identical name, to real ones. If there whom you can ask around you, it will be wise not to connect to the Wi-Fi network and find some other systems, using cellular data, or waiting to join until you get to a different location.
It is important and is advisable to disable the open join networks automatically function on your device. This will not only prevent you from unintentionally connecting to any fraudulent network of Wi-Fi, but it will also keep your data and device safe. In most of the devices, this option is disabled by default, but it will better if you check it once in the Wi-Fi preferences in your Settings menu.
Look for the Green Bar
Are you sending any kind of data through your email or using Faceboo logink details, it is important to make sure that the sites which you are visiting are secure, no matter what is the kind of network you are on. Check for the green address bar which is also known as padlock icon which means that the site which you are using is protected by a high-level SSL (security) certificate.
At the very least, make sure the URL begins with https://. You might also try HTTPS Everywhere, which is a free extension for Opera,Chrome, Firefox, and other Android browsers which will activate the encryption of https features on the parts of a website which are supported by it.
Portable Protection should be used
One of the best ways by which you can secure your information and other data is by using a VPN or also called Virtual Private Network. A VPN helps you to routes all your data (even when you are on a public Wi-Fi) through a secure, encrypted virtual server. VPNs provides you with a robust security even when you are not on an informal network of Wi-Fi.
Most employers use enterprise VPNs which allow them to keep a laptop or the mobile and portable data safe and secure when connected to public Wi-Fi. If you don’t have access to one, there are several other reliable VPN options which are available for your own use. There will be many of these which are free or ad-supported if you upgrade it to paid VPN service provides more security will be provided.
Two-Factor Authentication is quite necessary
Enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on your accounts is one of the safest and easiest ways to keep them quite secure. 2FA is an extra verification step which ensures your account and then your account can’t be accessed by anyone third person, even if your password has been compromised. The most common 2FA implementation involves a confirmation code which is sent to your device or your other devices. You can only access to your account when you enter this code, so if there is a hacker who gets your password through public Wi-Fi, they cannot get to your data without your mobile device which is with you making it quite safe.
Services such as Twitter, Gmail and, Facebook are already using this mechanism. This technology is taking the time to emerge for personal use, but a 2FAs extra layer of assurance is worth the wait and has also brought revolution in the field of data security.
Namecheap offers you with 2FA for our customers’ accounts. Learn how to set it up here.
Be sure about your apps, browsers, and antivirus tools are updated with the latest versions. In addition to this, perform updates on a trusted home or work network. This will not only ensure that your computer or mobile device is running all security patches (as well as with all great features). system updates on a regular basis will also reassure you that your software which you are using is current.
It’s a considered excellent if you make sure your operating system’s built-in security system is turned on for better security. This is easy to do by which the private and Security settings in your Control Panel (Windows) or using System Preferences (Mac).
Community forums such as Facebook groups are an effective resource for sharing helpful information with other users and keeping up with the latest in public network safety protocols. Namecheap is committed to making the web experience more safe for all the users. It is better if you learn how you can protect your data using tools such as WhoisGuard , SSL certificates, PremiumDNS, and there is so much you can get from Namecheap.
Overall, common sense and good habits when using public Wi-Fi networks will also keep you safe and secure overall.