To Wi-Fi or Not to Wi-Fi

By Michael Fiorito, MDS

It is safe to use Public Wi-Fi Networks?  It’s safe to use public hotspots if you’re following best practices. 

Ensure You’re Secure: Public Wi-Fi Best Practices

  • Visit encrypted websites only
    Make sure that the websites you visit are encrypted from the time you log in to the time you log out. If you think you’re logged in to an encrypted site but find yourself on an unencrypted page, log out right away
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
    Best practice is to use a virtual private network (VPN) if you’re on a Wi-Fi Hotspot. VPNs encrypt traffic between your computer and the internet, even on unsecured networks. You can get a personal VPN account from a VPN service provider. In addition, some organizations create VPNs to provide secure, remote access for their employees. Additionally, VPN options are available for mobile devices; they can encrypt information you send through mobile apps.
  • Use different passwords for different websites.  If a hacker gains access to one of your accounts, they may attempt to access to other accounts
  • Keep your browser and security software up-to-date (updated browsers check for malicious software)
  • Consider changing the settings on your mobile device so it doesn’t automatically connect to nearby Wi-Fi (keep your Bluetooth turned off as well!) More on that here 
  • Some Wi-Fi networks use encryption: WEP and WPA are common, but they might not protect you against all hacking programs. WPA2 is the strongest
  • Installing browser add-ons or plug-ins can help. For example, Force-TLS and HTTPS-Everywhere are free Firefox add-ons that force the browser to use encryption on popular websites that usually aren’t encrypted. They don’t protect you on all websites — look for https in the URL to know a site is secure
  • Sounds silly, but don’t stay permanently signed in to accounts.  When you’re finished using an account, log out

Don’t wait until sensative data is already in the sticky hands of hackers to react to a breach. Stay proactive with MDS and work with us to build out a custom, company-wide security protocol that is effective and easy to maintain.

Pulling the plug doesn't have to be your only security solution.

Don’t become part of a rising statistic — ensure your company is armed against a security hack.