10 Public WiFi Facts That You Perhaps Didn’t Know

Most of the time, Wi-Fi networks aren’t correctly set up and can be unsecured. When they are insecure, all who connect can be invaded or have information leaked. Encrypting connections can help you stay protected. It’s been 30 years since Wi-Fi was invented. Today, we will talk about 10 WiFi facts related to privacy invasion and how to fight it on a public Wi-Fi network connection.

Free public WiFi facts
Illustrator: Sid Yankanchi

Amazing Public WiFi Facts You Should Know

The 10 facts about WiFi that you perhaps didn’t know-

1. Open Networks

Connecting to open public networks can sometimes be dangerous. When heading to the neighborhood library or while sitting in your hotel room, you have access to free public Wi-Fi, but you can also be connected with who knows how many others. Putting yourself in these types of situations can eventually get you into trouble if someone decides to tunnel their way into your computer’s data. Before connecting to anything public, you should politely ask the network owner if the connection is encrypted and secure.

2. Virtual Private Networks

Having a program that can scramble all the information going in and out of your computer or phone can be a big help than you think. With an excellent virtual private network, you can encrypt your connection to an open public Wi-Fi and make it so nobody can detect you. Having such a feature can help block hackers from getting into your system.

VPNs also allow you to bypass content restrictions imposed by network administrators or geo-location restrictions you may encounter when traveling abroad, as not all websites are available worldwide.

3. Secure SSL Encryptions

Did you know there are millions of unencrypted websites floating about that can potentially be dangerous to your computer’s health when visited on an unsecured public Wi-Fi network? To make sure sites are secure (when using Google Chrome), always look for a green lock in the address bar. It can indicate whether or not the site is safe to put personal information on. For your safety, never place personal data on unsecured sites.

4. Personal Firewall

Taking the time to set up the firewall on your computer can be a very annoying task but can be valuable for your online travels. It provides very low-level protection (when using the standard OS firewall) and can help warn you about malicious intrusions. Having a third-party firewall can be more beneficial regarding protection, but it can also be a little harder to set up.

5. Sharing Files

Make sure always to turn off Network Discovery and File Sharing in public. It can prevent any accidental file sharing and leakage of private data. When attempting to shut off these features on a Windows OS, go into your control panel to access most options available.

6. Email Complexity

Taking a few minutes to change email passwords and creating something a little complex can help you in the long run. When connecting to public Wi-Fi, someone can access your data: emails, accounts, pictures, etc. Changing your passwords after being connected to an unsecured network can be a wise thing to do.

7. Money Transfers

Never use any websites like PayPal, banks, and online game wallets when left open. As stated earlier, being on the same network with dozens of others can be risky, so staying away from vital information would be smart until you get home and connect to a secure network.

8. Anti-Virus

With so many available today, we can easily choose one just to add the extra comfort we need when using a public Wi-Fi connection. It can let you know ahead of time if someone might be attempting to connect to you or if you somehow contracted malicious bugs from unsecured websites. It can be the added security you need and a powerful one.

9. Turn off Wi-Fi

When sitting on a public network, turn off the Wi-Fi feature when not in use. It is just a bonus for your computer not to contract anything without you noticing. While you are at it, turn off the Bluetooth feature as well; this is just another file-sharing connection you don’t need publicly.

10. Mobile Phones

Did you know mobile phones cannot let you know what sites could be secured or not? It is not a very safe choice to use on an open network. Please avoid any money transfer applications or applications that may have detailed information about the user. Another option could be using a mobile virtual private network; this can be secured to an extent. The issue with mobile phones is that they do not have several security options, unlike personal computers.

Consider all these WiFi facts and protect yourself the next time you have a coffee at the local café or have to quickly pick up a book at the library. I hope we can all keep progressing and permanently stop such invasions.

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