Free public WiFi is now ubiquitous and users armed with their Smartphone’s, Tablets and Laptops are happy to roam in and out of networks without a second thought. In general public WiFi is safe to use, however there are some measures that should be applied where secure or sensitive information is being transferred.
Users of free WiFi need to be more careful nowadays as hacking is a growing practice. Hacking involves someone in the same WiFi location scanning your sensitive data. Passwords, credit card details, identity markers and various other pieces of sensitive data are examples of what a rogue WiFi hacker could gather if you were not taking some precautionary measures.
Here are some examples of measures users could take to offer a higher level of protection:
- Pick the network with the highest level of security if available
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) while using free WiFi
- Avoid online banking on public hotspots
- Use https sites and SSL to offer increased protection
- Use a firewall if possible
Of course these are only some examples of measures and there are many others that could be used to protect your sensitive data when out and about. Public WiFi is very much in its infancy and as it evolves so will the level of protection and security available to users. In the mean time however it is best to apply some precaution.
To offer additional security to free WiFi users MyPlace Connect has just launched an encrypted WiFi feature in several locations and will be rolling out to all venues in the near future. Any user on the MyPlace Connect WiFi network will have the option of using an encrypted WiFi network in the same venue which will increase security and offer an additional layer of protection. The new feature encrypts all wireless traffic between the user and the internet and is the first and most important step to protect your sensitive data on WiFi networks. This is our first security feature deployed but it will be followed by many more in recognition of the growing risks of transferring sensitive data over public WiFi.