How to Use WIFI Hotspots with Security

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WIFI, Hotspots, Internet Cafe's and laptops are all buzzwords in the tech-communication world today.


Wow Internet for free! Everyone's dream right? It is a nightmare if you don't take precautions and learn to secure your laptop. Identity Theft is on the rise and Using security with free public WIFI Hotspots is crucial. Follow these tips and stay safe. Well Safer, that is.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop
  • WIFI
  • Hotpot location
  • Wireless Access
  • Virus Protection
  • Spyware sweeper
  • WIFI LAPTOP SECURITY: When purchasing your laptop make sure you have WIFI capability as well as security systems such as SpySweeper, Virus Protection, and popup blockers. Having a good backup system in place or an online backup such as Carbonite is excellent for restoring lost data in event of laptop hijacking.

    TIP: Run virus scan once a day and back up your computer weekly.

  • PUBLIC SECURITY: Next, when using your WIFI in public, choose a location that requires registration. It may be appealing to sit and sip coffee but if the location is open to the public with no registration, you are at risk for hackers to access your information.

    Limit your banking and personal information to the home computer. That way your information is secure while using you laptop in public which lowers the chances of identity theft.

    TIP: The location should offer unique login codes to use WIFI.

  • WIFI PASSWORD PROTECTION: Password protect your computer, your internet login, and your important files. Do not keep a password file on your computer listing all your passwords. Change your passwords fairly frequently. Ask if they support Wireless Client Isolation. On your computer remember that anyone can be listening in. You cannot deter that but you can use safer methods such as encryption, which is set up on the wireless router. So you need to ask the WIFI Hotspot if they have encyption enabled. This will show up as a key in the connection box.

    TIP: Look for Encryption key in Hotspot's connection box

  • WIFI URLS SECURITY: If you must access banking and financial spots make sure you are accessing the correct url. In the URL address box look for https:// s indicates secure. Note also the secure padlock in lower right hand side of browser.

    TIP: Look for secure websites

  • WIFI HOTSPOT LOCATION: While you are at the WIFI hotspot, make sure to seat yourself so that people aren't easily able to see your screen.
    Make sure to close out browser windows when idle. Do not leave your laptop unattended even for a couple of seconds.
    Take precautions to have your laptop or case is easily identifiable by you.
    Read the article on preventing laptop loss at the airport.

    TIP: Sit away in back corner with clear view of window and other computer users

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't outstay your welcome at the free internet cafe's support their business.
  • Photo Credit SXC.HU
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