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Public Wi-Fi networks are often great because they offer free Internet access to just about anyone. However, public Wi-Fi networks also have a dark side. While free Wi-Fi is great, it’s not always secure. If you have a netbook or laptop that you want to use on a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you need to take some security precautions. Here’s how to keep your computer safe on public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Public Wi-Fi hotspots seem to be available in more places than ever. If you travel a lot or are just starting out, the following safety precautions can help keep your computer safe and secure. In this article, we’ll look at security precautions in Windows 10, but most of these tips and tricks also apply to XP, Vista, and even other operating systems.
How to protect a Windows PC on public Wi-Fi
- First of all, check the WiFi network you are connected to. You’ll often find more than one open WiFi network within range of your computer, so make sure you’re actually connecting to the one you want.
- Computers running Windows 7, Windows 8, and the latest versions of OS X can share files with other devices that are connected to the same network. If you are using a public WiFi network, it is recommended to have this option disabled. In Windows, in Control Panel, Network option. On OS X, from system preferences.
- Avoid using the same password for different accounts. This applies not only to connecting via public WiFi networks, but also in general.
- Whenever you access a website that uses your personal information, such as an email or a work platform, a banking website or, in general, any website that stores sensitive information, always verify that the access is using a security protocol. secure browsing, such as HTTPS. In short, if the browser bar does not say “https”, you should avoid starting the
- session because the website is not encrypted properly.
- Turn on 2-Step Verification (either via text message or mobile app) for platforms that offer it. For example, GMail has this type of verification, which means that if an attacker manages to get your password, he won’t be able to access your email account with just the password.
- Whenever you use your computer in a public place with open WiFi access, and you are not connected to the Internet, you should disable the WiFi connection if you don’t need it.
- It is also a good idea to keep the Firewall that is installed by default on the operating system of your choice enabled by default.
- Avoid staying connected to any of your accounts longer than necessary. For example, as soon as you finish sending that important email, log out of your email account.
- One last piece of advice, in the case of mobile devices, it is advisable to disable the automatic connection to WiFi networks, and only connect to a public network when you need to do something, and then disconnect. It’s better to use a little more mobile data than to have your data stolen.
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