When the internet first started out, being online meant connecting to a computer with a dial-up modem. These days, the internet is an integral part of daily life. It’s a place where you can shop for clothes, book a hotel room, and order food from your favorite restaurant. The internet has also become a popular means of communication. People use it to stay connected with friends and family, share photos and videos, and chat with their neighbors. The internet has become such an essential part of modern life that many public hotspots have popped up all over the place.
These public hotspots are a terrific way for travelers to stay connected while they’re away from home or work. The problem is that not everyone realizes that these public hotspots are also a source of malware and other internet threats. If you’re planning to use a public hotspot while you’re active, you need to take some safety precautions so that you don’t inadvertently put yourself at risk of identity theft or another internet-based security threat.
Create a Secure Connection
When you connect to a public hotspot, you are putting your data at risk. The very first thing you need to do is protect your data from being stolen. To do this, you need to use a secure connection. A secure connection is the only type of connection that should be used when dealing with sensitive information, like your banking and financial data. When using a public hotspot, make sure you are using a VPN. VPNs give you complete privacy and anonymity online. They mask your actual location and protect your data from being hijacked. You can also use a VPN to bypass government censorship, whether that be geographic restrictions or website blocks. If you need to get around these types of blocks while you’re abroad, a VPN is the perfect solution.
Avoid Public Hotspot Hotspots
Unfortunately, there are many public hotspots that are not secure. These hotspots are often free, unsecured, and available for use by anyone. When using a public hotspot, always make sure to research the location and security of the hotspot before using it. Avoid hotspots in public places like libraries, coffee shops, and airports. These types of hotspots often have a record of accomplishment of being hotspots for malware, viruses, and other threats. The same goes for hotels and other places that provide free public Wi-Fi.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A virtual private network is the perfect solution for when you need to access a public hotspot. VPNs mask your location and change your IP address, making it seem as if you’re accessing the internet from somewhere else. This is great for when you’re using a public hotspot because it keeps your data secure. When using a VPN, only connect to the VPN server once you’re safely inside your home or office network. A VPN can also be used to bypass government censorship. If you need to get around these types of blocks while you’re abroad, a VPN is the perfect solution.
Install a Password Manager
One of the most effective ways to protect your data while using a public hotspot is to use a password manager. A password manager is a software program that saves your passwords and other login credentials. You can then use one master password to access all of your passwords from one source. This makes it much easier to remember and reduces the risk of you losing track of which password is for which account. Some of the most popular password managers can be used for free. One Password Manager worth looking into is Last Pass.
Use a Browser Extension to Boost Security
A great way to protect your data while using a public hotspot is to use a browser extension. A browser extension is software installed on your computer browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari). Extensions can modify your browser in many ways, from blocking ads to blocking certain websites. One of the most effective browser extensions for protecting your data is HTTPS Everywhere. It ensures that every website you visit is encrypted via HTTPS, rather than HTTP. HTTPS is the modern, secure version of HTTP. When you’re using a public hotspot, it’s essential that your data is as secure as possible. Using a browser extension like HTTPS Everywhere can help boost your data security and protect you from attackers.
Avoid Phishing and Malware
Even though you’re using a VPN and secure connection, there’s always the chance that someone is monitoring your internet usage and trying to snoop on your data. To protect yourself from this, never click on links in suspicious emails or visit websites that prompt you to download software or enter personal information. Always be wary of unsolicited pop-up ads, especially those related to online banking or shopping. Using a VPN and a browser extension like HTTPS Everywhere can help protect you from these threats.
The internet has become an essential part of modern life, and public hotspots are a straightforward way for travelers to stay connected while they’re away from home or work. The problem is that not everyone realizes that these public hotspots are also a source of malware and other internet threats. If you’re planning to use a public hotspot while you’re active, you need to take some safety precautions so that you don’t inadvertently put yourself at risk of identity theft or another internet-based security threat.