How to safely use open WiFi hotspots?

ttopp

When I’m using open WiFi networks for anything more than a quick bit of casual browsing, what steps are necessary to stay secure?

Topic: Security
Answer this Question

Answers

3 total
MGaluzzi
Vote Up (7)

The top 5 things I suggest are:

1. Use a VPN.

2. Turn off sharing on your laptop.

3. Use HTTPS Everywhere, a free browser extension from EFF.

4. Enable the firewall on your laptop. 

5. Don’t log into sensitive sites like your bank account. For sensitive accounts that you just have to use, Gmail for example, set up and use 2-factor authentication. 

 

Even doing all of there, you are not completely secure - the initial communication with a proxy is unsecured, for example. I feel comfortable using public WiFi after taking these steps and I think the remaining risk level is acceptable. You have to make that call for yourself though.

Dr. Rose
Vote Up (5)

1)Turn off sharing:If you use a laptop, you might have it set to share files and folders with other computers at work or home. You don't want these settings on when you're using a public network.2)Don't automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks:It's handy when your smartphone, tablet and laptop automatically connect to your home and work networks, but that can lead to trouble when you're out and about.3)Use security softwareYour laptop should have the same anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection that your home computer does. The firewall is particularly important when on a public network. Its entire purpose is to keep snoops out of your system.

jimlynch
Vote Up (5)

6 ways to use public Wi-Fi hot spots safely
http://www.cnet.com/how-to/6-ways-to-use-public-wi-fi-hot-spots-safely/

"Places like Starbucks, neighborhood cafes, Barnes&Noble, and universities are all jumping on the "free Wi-Fi" bandwagon--hey, it's trendy. As a result, more of us are connecting to these networks without realizing the security risks.

But did you read the fine print? Wi-Fi hot spots are unsecured networks that hackers like to take advantage of. Everything--including your data, account information and passwords, Google searches, and finances--can become available to the hacker who wants it badly enough.

So before you pay your bills or write your genius business plan at the local cafe, get to know these six useful practices."

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Google, Dropbox and the Open Technology Fund are supporting a new organization focused on making open-source security and privacy tools more user-friendly.
Among six major U.S. cities, CSOs are paid the most in San Francisco and New York, but factoring in the cost of living makes Denver and Chicago the best bang-for-the-buck places.
Apple's iOS 8 addresses a serious weakness that could allow attackers to hijack the wireless network authentication of Apple devices and gain access to enterprise networks.
Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday aims to place limits on access by U.S. law enforcement agencies to emails and other communications stored abroad.
Two online advertising networks, Google's DoubleClick and Zedo, have been delivering malicious advertisements that could install malware on a person's computer, according to the security vendor Malwarebytes.
Google is turning on data encryption by default in the next version of Android, a step that mirrors broad moves in the technology industry to ensure better data security.
CloudFlare said it has engineered a novel way to handle sensitive encryption keys that allows organizations such as financial institutions to still use its caching service to fend off cyberattacks.
Samsung on Thursday announced price reductions and updates for its Knox security and management software for IT shops and a free My Knox service that is directly available to professionals using ActiveSync.
The breach of Home Depot's payment systems may have compromised 56 million payment cards as a result of malware that has since been eliminated, the company said Thursday.
Apple outlined its new privacy policy and set up a site to explain what information it collects from users and how it handles it, as the company enters new areas like health tracking and mobile payments that have potential privacy implications.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

randomness