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Here’s everything you need to stay secure on public Wi-Fi networks

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:47PM EST
Public Wi-Fi Security Tips

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Believe it or not, public Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t always the most secure way to access the web when you’re on the go. This is why security firm Secure Data Recovery has put together a handy infographic that gives you tips and tricks for avoiding some of the most common dangers associated with using public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Most of these tips are fairly commonsense and they’re used to thwart hackers who have set up phony public Wi-Fi hotspots in crowded areas. Among other things, Secure Data Recovery says you should always check with someone who works at the establishment whose Wi-Fi you’re using to make sure that you’re using the correct hotspot; you should only send data through websites that use the more secure HTTPS protocol and you should avoid doing anything that involves financial transactions such as logging into your bank account; you should turn on your device’s firewall and run antivirus software on it; and you should turn off sharing on your smartphone and make sure that none of your passwords are stored on it.

Secure Data Recovery says that public Wi-Fi hotspots are especially risky in areas that involve mass transportation, such as airports, train stations and bus stations. The firm also suggests that you take extra caution when in coffee shops as well, since those are also prime places where hackers set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots.

Finally, the firm says that you should be careful to make sure you’re actually connecting to a Wi-Fi network and not an ad-hoc network set up to connect you directly with a hacker’s computer, since hackers will often try to disguise such networks by giving them names such as “Free Public Wi-Fi.”

Secure Data Recovery’s full infographic on staying secure on public Wi-Fi networks follows below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.