How to stay safe from hackers when using public WiFi


We all like to make the most of wireless hotspots to save our mobile data, but there are lots of potential dangers so you need to be vigilant to make sure you don’t fall victim to a cyber attack.

Nowadays, most of us are wise the spam emails and are quick to ignore and delete them but on a public network you could be handing over your private details without even being aware of it.

Luckily, there are things that you can do to protect yourself even when you are using a public WiFi network.

Going into coffee shops and scrolling through to find a free available wireless network is common.

We know we should avoid ones that sound ‘dodgy’ but it tends to be ones named after standard names such as ‘Starbucks’ that we should afraid of as hackers often setup an ‘evil twin’.

If you log on to these networks hackers can sit back and watch all the unencrypted network traffic and take notes of your personal details including logins, passwords and even banking details.

To protect yourself you should:

1. Look out for the lock

Most websites now display a lock symbol in the toolbar. This shows that the site is protected. You should also look for sites that that are preceded by a HTTPS rather than just HTTP and the ‘S’ stands for secure, especially on sites where you are entering personal information.

2. Use a firewall

A firewall doesn’t give complete protection but it does offer a certain degree of assurance. Make sure that you have the latest version installed.

3. Set up a VPN

A Virtual Protect Network is a great solution and will make spying on you harder. They are usually a paid for service but there are an increasing number of free VPN services available.

4. Common Sense

As with most things, you can’t beat good old common sense. Try to avoid logging into your internet banking or anything that is sensitive and you will restrict the amount of information available to hackers.


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