Sitting in airports, coffee shops, or universities while working on your computer may seem like a comforting and safe atmosphere, but is it really? These places are filled with people using Wi-Fi but what you need to know is that often it’s not secure and your information could be accessed by anyone that is around. In order to protect your identity, financial/personal information, you must know some safety tips before using public Wi-Fi.
Imagine sitting in your local airport using your computer during a flight delay. In an effort to use your time wisely, you begin to respond to e-mails, pay some on-line bills, share photos, and perhaps order a few on-line items. What you may not know is this…you just sent your personal information over the internet and if you did so on a “Free” Wi-Fi, you just put all your information out there for cyber stalkers looking to steal your identity.
Common Ways to Safeguard Your Information When Using Public Wi-Fi
- Purchase a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for a nominal fee to make sure your information is encrypted and private. Encryption is essential to keeping your information secure while online.
- Only share personal information on a secure Wi-Fi network or an encrypted website. In an effort to make sure it is encrypted, always looks for “https” and not just “http” as the “s” represents secure.
- Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. Should one of your accounts be hacked, the hacker could access ALL of your accounts if your passwords are the same.
- Routinely update all of your security software.
- Log out of all websites/applications/accounts after using them.
- Never access any of your financial accounts while using public Wi-Fi.
- Never assume that a Wi-Fi hot spot is safe and secure. Most hot spots are not secure, and you could be putting your identity and private information up for grabs to cyber stalkers.
Keep in mind that a lot of skill, time, and energy is put into criminals trying to access your information. Techniques, such as sniffing, installing fake malware, or setting up fake hot spots in hopes people will unknowingly log-in are all ways that cyber criminals can hack into your private and financial accounts. Once done, they can impersonate you, scam you, and access your financial accounts.
Taking precautionary measures in an effort to protect your identity is key when you are even considering using public Wi-Fi. Burkett & Associates Insurance Agency understands the importance of your safety and identity. Feel free to contact us at 256-704-7400 with any concerns or questions you may have regarding public Wi-Fi and your personal data.