How to Protect Your Privacy on Public Wi-Fi

March 23, 2023

Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient and ubiquitous, but they also pose significant risks to your online security and privacy. Anyone who shares the same network with you can potentially intercept your data, spy on your online activity, or even infect your device with malware. Therefore, it is important to take some precautions when using public Wi-Fi, especially if you are dealing with sensitive information such as passwords, bank accounts, or personal data. Here are three recommended security tips to use when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network:

1. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A VPN is a service that creates a secure and encrypted connection between your device and a remote server. This way, all the data that travels through the VPN tunnel is protected from prying eyes and hackers. A VPN also allows you to access geo-restricted content and websites by masking your real IP address and location. To use a VPN, you need to install a VPN app on your device and connect to a server of your choice before accessing any public Wi-Fi network.

2. Avoid entering sensitive information

Even if you use a VPN, it is still advisable to avoid entering sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or social security numbers on public Wi-Fi networks. Some websites may not use HTTPS encryption (the lock icon in the address bar), which means that anyone can see what you type or click on those sites. If possible, wait until you are on a secure and trusted network before logging into your online accounts or making any online transactions.

3. Turn off automatic connection

Many devices have a feature that automatically connects them to any available Wi-Fi network nearby. This can be convenient at home or work, but it can also expose you to unwanted and malicious networks when you are out and about. To prevent this from happening, turn off the automatic connection feature on your device settings and manually choose which network you want to join each time. You should also forget or delete any networks that you don't trust or use anymore from your device's memory.

By following these three simple tips, you can reduce the risks of using public Wi-Fi networks and enjoy a safer and more private online experience.