Factors to consider before accessing a public Wi-Fi network

There are numerous clear benefits to utilizing public Wi-Fi. For example, imagine you’re at a train station and your cellular data keeps dropping to 3G or even lower, leaving you with sluggish speeds. By connecting to the free Wi-Fi offered by the train station, you can swiftly address this issue. Public Wi-Fi is also useful when you’ve exhausted your mobile data allowance. Nonetheless, because public Wi-Fi is open to anyone, there are a few precautions you should take before connecting to safeguard your personal information and identity.

Disable automatic connection

Although automatically connecting to available Wi-Fi networks can be very convenient and can save you data, it can also pose a security risk. Malicious individuals may be able to access sensitive information on a public Wi-Fi network. To stay secure, access your device’s Wi-Fi settings and disable the feature that enables automatic connection to open networks.

Only connect to reliable networks

When you venture out into a bustling area, you’ll notice numerous open Wi-Fi networks listed among your available networks. It’s natural to want to locate a strong, complementary network to connect to, as who doesn’t appreciate free internet access? However, doing so could potentially leave your data vulnerable to hackers. Cybercriminals might lure you with enticing hotspot names like “Free Wi-Fi,” or they may even mimic the names of legitimate services. Therefore, exercise caution when selecting a network to connect to.

Turn off sharing

Sharing files and folders can be highly beneficial when using your office’s Wi-Fi network, allowing you to work collaboratively with colleagues. However, performing the same action over a public Wi-Fi network is risky. Enabling sharing on a public Wi-Fi network means that shared folders can be accessed by anyone else on the same network. To safeguard your data, disable file sharing before connecting to a public network. If you are using a Windows computer, you will see the option to disable file sharing as soon as you connect to a new network.

Refrain from logging into online banking website

Once you have implemented the aforementioned safety measures, the subsequent step to ensure your security is to refrain from logging into accounts that contain personal information, such as online banking and social media. Despite a website’s credibility, the personal data on that site may be vulnerable to cybercriminals on an open Wi-Fi network.

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