The impact of word “free” is humongous among our common people. Whether it is food tasting, ride or movie, it’s all in the word free which attracts us. The word does play with our minds and push us to try it. The Internet has become a part of our lives from booking a cab or a movie show it gives results for everything and anything. Wi-Fi networks are set up for easy access for maps, gas stations, food mall etc. You will find them on airports, library, and railway stations. But often these networks are flimsy and compromised by some notorious people to extract vital information.
Public Wi-Fi is newest on the block at least in India, serving regular commuters, tourists and students gaining access to the internet on the go. Ideally, these networks are free and easily accessible. But does free Wi-Fi give you internet safety? We often forget like us, thousands of people use the “free Wi-Fi” in order to surf the internet. The internet is filled with some high-end viruses which can extract your important data and can leave you to spellbound. Within a fraction of seconds, a hacker can nil your account or gain access to your social media account details. The smartness is to avoid the free Wi-Fi altogether or if you have to use it under any circumstances following are some tips to avoid getting into trouble.
- Be sure of the network you are connecting to your cell phone or laptop. Knowing the Wi-Fi is of utmost importance, this can totally be a game changer in your connectivity. Always ‘forget the network’ after using the Wi-Fi, this will ensure that you don’t get connected to that network if you are in the vicinity again.
2. Use VPN always-Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps encrypt your personal data from phone or laptop from going into wrong hands.
3. Turn off all the options which directly gives access to your computer or phone such as screen sharing or AirDrop etc. Always let the device ask you before joining any network, this will give you the option to join or not.
4. Using appropriate security system for all your devices will ensure that you are protected from most of the malware out there. Also keep them up to date too.
5. Enable two-factor authentication for apps such as Twitter, Gmail, and Facebook. This is a good way to stop notorious practices to get access to your log in details. Also if gained access, you have added an extra layer of protection to these apps.
6. It can be a pain to memorize all the passwords for gazillion app you have on your phone, but it is a good practice to keep different passwords for all the apps. If not for all, but for the app which has important details such as online banking details of your credit/debit cards.
7. Use HTTP anywhere you can. This isn’t sure thing on giving you 360° security, but a way to bump up your security one level up. Also, not every site supports this, but wherever you can, do it.
8.If these tips don’t satisfy you on the security basis, carry your own Wi-Fi where you go. There are many available in the market with reasonable rates on the internet plans.
If it is available for everyone, how safe it is? The question remains unanswered, but you can always be sure by changing few settings in your device and always have an updated version of internet security. After all, free things aren’t that free always. It is better to safe than sorry.