14 Things You Should Never Do When Using Public Wi-Fi

14 Things You Should Never Do When Using Public Wi-Fi

Technology is amazing and we've all grown used to being able to connect with the rest of the world at just the touch of our fingertips. But what are the dangers of all that connectivity? And are you taking the precautions you should?

Connecting automatically

Businessman Typing on smart phoneStock Rocket/Shutterstock

Let's start with the basics—connecting at all. "It's a huge security risk to connect to and use an open Wi-Fi network," says Weiging Sun, PhD, cybersecurity expert and associate professor of computer science and engineering technology at The University of Toledo College of Engineering. "What's worse is that the users are not aware when the public Wi-Fi network is already connected and being used."

That's because most phones connect automatically. But that opens you up to hackers and scammers everywhere you go. Instead, Sun says users should check their device settings and disable automatic connections. Learn the clear signs you're about to be hacked to better arm yourself.

Connecting without caution

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So you've disabled your automatic connections, but you still need to occasional public Wi-Fi access. Be careful about which networks you choose to connect to. "Attackers can set up phony Wi-Fi hotspots to lure users to connect to and use them, and then steal data passing through the network, which is under their control," Sun says. He explains an attacker may set up a Wi-Fi network named Starbucks-guest-wifi-1, for instance, knowing users will assume it's safe. "We should always use caution and verify the trustworthiness before using a public Wi-Fi network."

Playing with money

onlaptopKite rin/Shutterstock

Don't perform financial or other sensitive transactions, including banking or filing taxes on public Wi-Fi networks, says Alan Brill, a senior managing director with Kroll's Cyber Risk practice. "An attacker may capture your online bank's credentials or credit card information."

He says "the two biggest threats to using public Wi-Fi are hackers who are able to set up 'man-in-the-middle' attacks and intercept all your activity on that network, combined with the inherent lack of privacy posed by unsecured connections."

14 Things You Should Never Do When Using Public Wi-Fi, Source:https://www.rd.com/advice/things-never-do-using-public-wifi/

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