Many of us find ourselves connected to public networks on a regular basis. But, as we browse, click, post, and chat, hackers could be wreaking havoc on both our files and our credit scores. In order to prevent such a catastrophe, follow these five tips the next time you log onto a public network:
Don’t Share. Your computer has the ability to share files and folders easily with any other computers connected to the same internet source. This is great in a home or office setting when you appreciate the ease of spreading information. But, when connected to public Wi-Fi, it can spell trouble. When using Windows, your computer will automatically ask you to classify a connection. Click “public” for an optimal level of security. On a Mac system, uncheck all of the boxes labeled “sharing” by going first to “system preferences,” then to “sharing.”
Turn off auto connect. When you reach for any of your electronic devices, chances are it has automatically connected to a Wi-Fi network even before you asked it to. For the home or office, this is fine. But, be sure you turn off this auto connect option before leaving a trusted internet access area. The hackers of today are running thriving schemes based solely upon auto connect, giving them all the access they need to your important information.
Watch your personal info. It may be tempting to check your bank balance or do a little online shopping will sitting in a café or visiting a hotel. But, it is always best to wait to perform such transactions when you are completely certain of a secure internet connection. If you must, ensure you log into your bank through their official website. They often code data, making it harder for hackers to steal. Also, check the address bar to ensure it has a padlock in the upper left corner and that the address begins with HTTPS.
Use security software. When using public Wi-Fi, ensure your devices all have the most recent anti-virus and spyware protection available, as well as a strong firewall. These help keep hackers out of your system and allow you to browse with more confidence. Not all of these software options are expensive either. In fact, some of the best are free. Run an internet search of the highest rated free versions and decide on protective software that is right for you.
Be aware of others. Now that you have implemented all of these Wi-Fi protections, you begin to feel more at ease when using public Wi-Fi. But, not so fast! These public Wi-Fi venues are great places for potential identity thieves to peruse. They may calmly walk around the area glancing at the screens of unsuspecting internet users. And once they catch a glimpse of your credit card information or a few passwords, you will be forced to fend off more problems than just an online hacker. Sit somewhere where you screen is not readily visible to passersby and be wary of eager eyes on your screen.
Security is important no matter what, and All Secured can help. To learn more about data security in Columbus, Ohio, contact us today.