With the ever-increasing mobility offered by today’s technology, working is no longer restricted to the confines of the office building. You can easily get things done on a laptop anywhere you can find an internet connection, so why not seek out the comfort of your local coffee shop for a change of pace every once in a while? Before sipping that fresh cappuccino, however, you should ensure the safety of your sensitive information. Here are some tips on keeping your private data secure when using public Wi-Fi!
Picking a Wi-Fi Network
The safest thing to do when working on-the-go is to use a personal, private hotspot connection. You can purchase a mobile hotspot to carry with you, or simply set one up on your smartphone if the service is offered by your provider. If this isn’t an option, however, be sure you at least know that the Wi-Fi network you are connecting to is coming from a reliable source. Verify the name of the network if it’s provided by a business—sometimes hackers will set up hotspots with names similar to establishments they are near in order to fool people into connecting to them. Choose a network that requires a password to log in or has an opt-in page that opens upon joining.
Using it Safely
Even if you have picked a password protected network verified by your coffee shop or hotel, you still shouldn’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks when using public Wi-Fi. Only visit HTTPS webpages and be sure not to visit any sites that store sensitive information. Doing things like online banking should wait until you are in the security of your own private internet connection, so get the coffee to go if you’ll be logging in to important accounts.
Further Security Measures
Sometimes doing the things above still may not be enough to protect you from hackers determined to mine your sensitive information. It’s best to have some fail-safes just in case. Always be sure to have the latest security updates downloaded on your device (this is good advice whether you’ll be connecting to public Wi-Fi networks or not!) and encrypt your hard drive to make gleaning anything useful from it that much harder for would-be information thieves. Don’t forget to change passwords before and after you travel—all the same safety measures can help protect you in coffee shops abroad, too!
As long as you’re smart about it, venturing out of the office to get some work done can be a fun way to get some variety in your everyday life or make the most out of travel time. Keep the tips above in mind and you’ll be that much safer wherever you’re connecting to the internet, so you can relax and enjoy your coffee!