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How to surf safely when using public Wi-Fi

Make sure you and your data are protected


Public Wi-Fi hotspots are brilliant for ensuring you can check your email and surf the web while on the go. However, using public wireless internet can also leave you wide open to attack. We show you the proper precautions you'll need to take to ensure you're not inviting your coffee colleagues to partake in confidential information.

Wi-Fi surfing safety summary

So, to recap:

  1. If your company has a VPN that you can use for web browsing, use it.
  2. If you can't use a company VPN, give HotSpot Shield a try.
  3. Don't equate subscription (paid-for) Wi-Fi internet with secure browsing.
  4. On unencrypted wireless networks, everyone can see where you are surfing (except on HTTPS websites).
  5. On encrypted wireless networks, everyone with the password can see where you are surfing (this could be a handful of people in your house, or hundreds of people in an airport).
  6. If you must use a Wi-Fi hotspot without any form of VPN, imagine that your laptop is connected to a stadium Jumbotron.
  7. Don't visit any sites you wouldn't visit with 80,000 people looking over your shoulder.

See also: Police ask internet cafes to snoop on users

  1. Make sure you and your data are protected
  2. Your personal business is your competitors' business
  3. Paid hotspots: safety not included
  4. Use your VPN
  5. Wi-Fi surfing safety summary
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