1 February 2021

What You Need to Know Before Connecting to Public Wi-Fi

Wi-fi hotspots are everywhere these days. At your local coffee shop, the airport, hotels, and even restaurants. Many people rush to connect to free wi-fi with hopes to cut down on data usage, but have you ever wondered if it’s safe? With data breaches being at an all-time high, you’re smart to be concerned.

When you connect to public wi-fi, you’re putting your confidential information such as passwords and business data at risk of being seen by prying eyes. Unfortunately, it’s quite easy for a hacker to trick you into connecting to a false network. This network will allow you to access the internet as per normal while giving the hacker the ability to track your every move. While most hotels and establishments are getting better about securing their wireless, each individual should still be cautious. Luckily, there are a few measures you can take to protect yourself and your devices.

Only use trusted Wi-Fi

In general, you can usually trust the Wi-Fi at your home and office.  It’s best to stick to only using Wi-Fi at locations you trust. 

Create Hotspot from Mobile

If you need Wi-Fi for your laptop when you’re away from your trusted locations, it’s best to create a hotspot from your phone vs. using the Wi-Fi at the local coffee shop.

Connect via VPN

This best protection you can have while working with sensitive business data is connecting via your company’s VPN (virtual private network). A VPN protects your online information by encrypting your data and activity even if you’re connected through a false network. 

Therefore, if you’re travelling and connected to hotel Wi-Fi, go ahead and do that, but then immediately connect to your office VPN to ensure prying eyes can’t snoop on your data.

If there comes a time you absolutely must use public wi-fi, the best protection is to surf the net, but never type in password, credit card, SIN, or other sensitive information. If you wouldn’t want anyone else to see it, make a conscious effort to wait until you’re on a trusted network.


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About Red Rhino

Red Rhino provides Managed IT Services, Support and Consulting to businesses in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley including Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, Delta, and White Rock.