Use trusted networks
If possible, connect only to known open networks, for example, from Starbucks. Their owners and so on you earn, so it’s unlikely you will be harmed.
No open Wi-Fi network can be completely safe – it all depends on who provides it and what people are in it with you. But still familiar networks are better than unknown.
Use the HTTPS protocol
If the site uses an unencrypted HTTP connection, browsers, such as Google Chrome, mark it as unsafe. Pay attention to HTTP notifications, especially if you use open Wi-Fi points. When you use an HTTPS connection, people on your network can not intercept the data that you exchange with the site server. And by HTTP they can easily see what you are doing.
Do not talk too much about yourself
Be careful when you connect to public Wi-Fi, especially if you are asked to enter personal information such as your e-mail address or phone number when connecting. If you absolutely need to go online, select a trusted network (as mentioned above) and specify a non-primary email address.
Shops and restaurants request such information to find out when you are connected and display relevant advertising. It’s up to you whether all this is worth a free internet connection.
Try to share personal information with as few open Wi-Fi networks as possible. It’s better to look for familiar services where you have already registered, than transfer data about yourself to new strangers.
Limit the operation of AirDrop and transfer files
If you are working on an open network and do not want to share files with strangers, disable the appropriate features. On a laptop, you can do this at the Network and Sharing Center. Go to Advanced Sharing Options and select “Disable File and Printer Sharing.” On the Mac, go to System Preferences, then to the File Sharing section, and uncheck all the items. Then launch the Finder, click on AirDrop and select “Who can see me: no one”. On iOS, you just need to find the AirDrop function in the Control Center and turn it off.
Done. No one else around will be able to intercept your files and send you something unnecessary.
Carefully read the agreement
Perhaps this is useless advice, but seriously – check all the conditions that you agree to when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Yes, sometimes there is much that is not clear, but most likely you will be able to notice the dangerous moments.For example, an item, what data about you will be collected and what will be done with them.
If you still do not understand anything in the agreement, try to google what others write about this network. The agreement itself does not pose any danger – it helps protect the communication provider, too – but it’s not worth it to creep through all the pop-ups. Of course, if you are asked to download a program or an extension for the browser, you should immediately discard it.
One of the most effective ways to protect an open Wi-Fi network is to install a VPN. VPN encrypts the data that you transmit from your device, and binds you to a reliable server – so other users find it more difficult to intercept your information or find out what you are doing on the network.
It’s very easy to connect to a VPN. After installing a special program you will be explained in detail how to use it. If you often drive around the city and connect to many different networks, you should not spare money for a good VPN.
In the future, a new WPA3 security protocol will appear and open Wi-Fi networks will become more reliable. However, so far, many vulnerabilities in protection arise from outdated software, so be sure to install all the latest updates for your laptop or phone. And in any case, do not download or install any updates on open Wi-Fi (except in cases of extreme necessity).
In general, the best way to avoid any problems with open Wi-Fi networks is to not use them. Perhaps you should download music and movies on the road beforehand or use the wireless access point function on your phone. If you still decide to connect to an open Wi-Fi, use these tips to protect yourself.