Public WiFi networks are very convenient and most of us will connect our devices to them at some point.
Being aware of potential security risks when using a public network is crucial to staying safe online.
There are lots of things you can do to keep safe on public WiFi:
- Try to use a secure WiFi connection, with a password or encryption.
- Check the website address and padlock. Remember that even if the address looks legitimate, your browser will only show a grey or green fully locked padlock icon in the URL field if it is a secure website.
- Disable file sharing and turn off network discovery.
- Look for https:// at the beginning of the website address – this means that any data you share with the site will be encrypted.
- Avoid entering personal information unless you are confident about the site.
- Avoid accessing sites that require you to log in when using public WiFi.
- Stick to secure connections if you want to send personal information online.
- Wait until you are connected to your home network before downloading or installing any software, or doing online banking or shopping.
- Turn off your WiFi when you have finished browsing so that your device doesn’t automatically connect to any unsecured networks.
You also have a couple of options for how you browse websites that are worth considering when using public WiFi.