Millions of people across the globe drool over the possibility of connecting to free public Wi-Fi but connecting to free public Wi-Fi could put your personal information at risk of being stolen.
A Symantec survey has revealed that millions of people across the world put their personal information including name, email ID and contact numbers at risk while using public Internet. Report indicates that when people connect to public Wi-Fi and browse the Internet including their social media accounts, they end up giving away vital information about their social media accounts, email accounts and even bank or financial information.
Despite increased awareness about dangers of public Wi-Fi there are still those who believe that their personal information is not at risk while using public Wi-Fi. Identity theft is a major problem across the globe and free public Wi-Fi are the hot beds for hackers and criminals to pry out sensitive information.
To protect oneself while using public Wi-Fi, the firm has suggested taking three precautionary measures:
Use Security Software: One of the best ways to protect your information online is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) from a trusted vendor. VPNs provide a ‘secure tunnel’ that encrypts data being sent and received between your device and the server.
Look for HTTPS: Many companies use secure website protocols — HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) — to provide online security. You can tell if a website is secure by checking for the ‘https’ tag in its URL and has a small lock symbol next to it. However, even though the website itself might be safe, your personal information could be vulnerable if your network connection isn’t secure.
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Sharing Less is Best: Think twice before entering any type of personal information – from passwords, to financial details and photos – over public Wi-Fi networks. Even if you’re not actively sharing the information, your device may be doing so for you. Many devices are programmed to automatically seek connections to other devices on the same network, which could cause your files to be vulnerable. Be sure to disable sharing on your devices to ensure what’s yours stays yours.