How to stay safe on public WiFi networks?


Every now and then it’s good to remind readers of some basic security measures. Although we’ve written about it before, it’s time to look at public WiFi security again.

There are several potential dangers when using public WiFi, ranging from privacy issues to cybercrime attacks. But most can be easily avoided by following these simple steps:

1. Ensure your Antivirus product is up to date and on the latest version.

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2. When connecting to a public WiFi your computer may ask you if you want to enable sharing or allow your computer to be seen to other devices on the network, always select “no” for this.

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3. Ensure the sites you visit are using HTTPS. This means the connection between you and the website is encrypted.

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4. Be wary of HTTPS certificate errors, as this could indicate man in the middle attacks

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5. Though using HTTPS, avoid banking online or online payment processing until on a trusted or secured network. When possible choose WiFi that has a password (cafés, bars, restaurants)

6. Use Window’s firewall or the firewall in your Antivirus product. You can check this by going to your Control Panel and clicking on “Windows Defender Firewall”

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written by Urban Schrott and Lorna Mayers, ESET Ireland

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