Wi-Fi hotspots are nothing more than just a wireless access point, which grants internet accessibility to network devices in various public locations, such as cafes, restaurants, hotels and airports. Schools and businesses are also opting for the Wi-Fi hotspots and using them for their intranet or internet networks.
Same Wi-Fi technology is utilized in wireless networks at home. Devices get connected to Wi-Fi hotspots via the use of a Wi-Fi network adapter. In fact, today the latest laptops and computers are designed with built-in adapters. The hotspots that are used in public locations usually require paid subscriptions and credit cards.
Neighborhood cafes, universities and similar places are opting to use the free Wi-Fi hotspots. With this, more and more users are connecting to the public Wi-Fi networks. As a result, security risks are increasing. In fact, Wi-fi hotspots are more like unsecured networks, which provide opportunities for hackers to take complete advantage of the technology. Your personal information is under threat if you access personal account information and passwords while using a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
So, prior to using the local internet or WiFi hotspots from a restaurant or a café, do make sure to follow the following rules:
- Always keep in mind that these networks are not secured and safe. They are always unsecured network connections. If you have to provide passwords or log onto something, do think twice and keep your guard on.
- Make use of built-in security tools, Windows and Mac OS X have. They come with inbuilt features that enable firewall of a user and keep a check of the incoming traffic. The feature only helps to keep the hackers or unethical entities away from your system and personal information.
- Disable file sharing.
- Keep a tab on padlock. The sites that make use of HTTPS are capable of encrypting your activities. Users doing anything on the sites are confidential. Opt for the padlock, which is present on the address bar. You can also download and install HTTPS Everywhere.
- Hackers are capable of retrieving even saved passwords that from your installed keyloggers or Registry. Therefore, try to protect and secure your passwords. Install features like LastPass or similar add-ons, whereby you can store your passwords safely in the cloud.
- Hackers use different techniques and gimmicks to lure their victims. They might also use fake networks and grab hold of their victims online. Therefore, check the name of the network or better, ask and confirm the same with the employees of the concerning place.
Bottom line, it is always required to make use of your common sense whenever opting for public Wi-Fi hotspots or networks. If you sense any threat to security, immediately keep your guard on and avoid shopping or doing online activities where sharing personal details is a mandatory.