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Using free public WiFi networks could be tempting, but it can also be dangerous. More often than not, public places that offer free WiFi don't use encryption to secure their networks, leaving you and your business data vulnerable to cyber-attacks. When connecting to public WiFi networks, you're sharing the internet connection with other users, and they may have malicious intent.
Cybercriminals can view and intercept wireless communications within the range of target devices. This puts your device and any company information you share with websites you visit at risk. This can lead to cybercriminals stealing data that could help them access company accounts or even launch a successful phishing attack.
Even if you don't think you are using your device for accessing anything sensitive, you may still be opening your device for unseen infiltration without your knowledge.
However, there are a couple of precautions you can take to help protect your devices while connecting to public WiFi networks:
Make sure any websites you visit use HTTPS at the beginning of the URL. Websites with HTTPS are encrypted and keep your information safe while travelling.
If your organisation offers a virtual private network (VPN), use it. VPNs encrypt all your wireless communications on the device you're using. Even if you access a website without HTTPS, your VPN secures your communication.
Use data only from your phone provider where possible. 4G and 5G network access is different from WiFi. Cellular networks require authentication before granting access, providing a much higher level of security than public WiFi.
Before working in a public place, understand your organisation's data security policies. Ask your IT department about setting up your VPN connection or how to access cellular network access.
Protecting your devices should be your top priority when going online in public places. By taking the simple measures outlined above, you can lessen the threats of cyber-attacks.
For more help and support protecting your business from cyber attacks, contact us at The One Point on 01482 420150.