Travelling, whether for business or pleasure, poses threats for people accessing the Internet. Public Wi-Fi is notoriously vulnerable and hackers use it all the time to commit identity theft and steal data.
Most of the time, hackers are taking advantage of a user’s ignorance and a lack of security, so when you’re on the move, here are some of the things you need to know about secure Wi-Fi.
Ad-hoc networking essentially means bypassing the wireless infrastructure and forming direct computer-to-computer links. This means a hacker could gain control of your system without you knowing about it.
You can turn this off from the control panel in Windows as many computers have this enabled automatically without users knowing about it.
Some computers will automatically connect you to any old network, if it’s available. Your computer should not connect you to non-preferential networks. Disable this option from the control panel.
Rogue networks setup by hackers for the sole purpose of stealing data can take advantage of computers automatically connecting to these networks and the worst part is your computer won’t even notify you when you’re connected to these networks.
Update Your Firewall
Nothing is more important than a firewall in preventing viruses and malware. It’s even more important when you’re connecting to a network that’s fundamentally unsafe. Before you travel, make sure you have the latest updates. This includes updates for your installed antivirus system and your standard Windows firewall.
The best way to make sure you don’t fall victim to hackers on your travels is to watch how you browse. For a start, you should try to avoid using these networks wherever possible. If you aren’t online there’s no threat.
When you do have to go online, make sure you stay away from certain types of websites. Obviously, you would stay away from unsecured websites, but you should also avoid performing any actions relating to online banking. Never transfer sensitive information through a public Wi-Fi network because it can be intercepted very easily.
Furthermore, you should make sure you clear your browsing history, cookies, and cache before and after you access the network. It’s always worth it because you never know what leverage a hacker may use to compromise your security.
Overall, public Wi-Fi is not a good option for accessing the Internet. Companies should make a point of instructing their employees not to work with company information whilst they’re using a public network.