Public Safety Tip: Wi-Fi Hotspot Security
When traveling with your trusty laptop or tablet, it's pretty common to find publicly accessible Wi-Fi networks that you can connect to, enabling you to surf the web. Where ever you are, whether it's a coffee shop, hotel, airport, or anywhere else, it's important to be safe about public surfing.
There are some risks involved when connecting to public networks, mostly because you don't know who or what else is on the network. Following a few simple tips can ensure that your mobile device and data remain safe.
Only connect to secure hotspots
This will greatly limit your ability to connect to the Internet at public locations, but it removes a whole lot of risks. Many places that offer free Wi-Fi password protect the network. This controls who is on it and encrypts the data being sent across the network. Otherwise, you open your device up to the entire network and all the risks associated with it.
Be sure your security is up-to-date
Be sure you are running updated antivirus, and that your Windows Updates are up-to-date on your laptop. It doesn't hurt to have a software firewall enabled as well, which will block outside attempts to get into your system.
Dial into your Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If your business has a VPN, use that to conduct business tasks while on the road. This has a ton of benefits beyond security. You can access the same applications and files you have at work, and sensitive data never gets saved on your mobile device. Keeping everything back at home means you can't have it stolen when on the road.
Encrypt your sensitive data
Laptops and some smartphones have the ability to encrypt data so that it can't be interpreted by hackers or data thieves. Software encryption needs to be setup ahead of time on the device.
Turn off your Wi-Fi when not using it.
This will save battery life on your mobile device, but the main point is to ensure your device doesn't automatically connect to networks and hotspots without your knowledge. Disable the ability to auto connect to unprotected networks and just turn off your Wi-Fi adapter when not using it.
Need help securing your mobile device or laptop? Contact us at (603) 431-7864 and get in touch with an experienced technician to ensure you are prepared for the next time you need to work from the road.
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