How to Be Safe Online In Public Places ?

Most people love the convenience of going online at the local coffee shop, the airport or the hotel lobby; but most people don’t know that going on the Internet in those places (called “hotspots”) isn’t as secure as you might think—or as safe as you need it to be

 

What’s a hotspot? A hotspot is any location where a wireless network (also called Wi-Fi) provides Internet access to the public—places like airports, hotels and coffee shops. Hotspots have grown in number, and grown more important, as more people have shifted to laptops and smartphones.

 

Connexin has put a list together of the risks and how to safely use the free service.

 

The Risks

People gaining access to your online activity or open apps if you are using an unsecured or bogus wireless network.

People accessing your device via Bluetooth to either send you unwanted texts, exploit your contacts list or access your handset’s commands.

Loss or theft of your device – either when you leave it unattended or while you are using or carrying it.

‘Shoulder surfing’ – people viewing your screen.


Protect Yourself

The main security risk associated with using your device in a public place, is that the WiFi may not be secured, enabling unauthorized people to intercept anything you are doing online. This could include capturing your passwords and reading private emails. This can happen if the connection between your device and the WiFi is not encrypted, or if someone creates a spoof hotspot which fools you into thinking that it is the legitimate one.

 

By logging on to an encrypted connection, you will be required to enter a ‘key’, which may look something like: 1A648C9FE2, this will ensure that your network is protected.

 

You may be asked to log in via social media accounts, make sure you keep personal information off your profiles.

 

Other Advice

Never leave your smartphone or tablet unattended.

Be aware of who is around you and may be watching what you are doing online.

Do not leave your device in view when not using it, even if it is on your seat or table.

Don’t forget that many apps connect to the internet in the background so you should check your settings to be sure of what information is being sent.