Some great advice and tips to follow when connecting your computer via Wi-Fi.
It’s a good idea to connect to public networks that require passwords when possible, as they tend to be more secure. Many public networks have a legal disclaimer stating network use and security. It pays to read these before connecting.
Turn Wi-Fi off We don’t mean you should turn your Wi-Fi off permanently, rather, when you’re not using your device, or are connected to another network, e.g., mobile data, turn your Wi-Fi connection off. If you have Wi-Fi on while connected to another network, your device can and will actively search for networks to connect to and often connect to an unsecure network, unintentionally exposing your information.
Use HTTPS when possible HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol with Secure Sockets Layer SSL. In layman’s terms this is a website that has been built with security of user’s data in mind. Many popular websites have a HTTPS version that can be accessed by typing in https://www.sitename.com. Using HTTPS makes websites a lot harder to hack, and it’s a good idea to get into the habit of using them when on a public network or connected to Wi-Fi outside of the office.
Use data not public hotspots Hotspots are public Wi-Fi connections usually provided by a company e.g., many coffee shops have Wi-Fi, this is a hotspot. These can be unsafe, so it’s much better to invest in a data connection for your device, or a mobile Internet stick, which are considerably safer as the data is encrypted before it’s transferred from the cell tower to your device.
Use a VPN A Virtual Private Network – VPN – connects multiple computers in different locations to the same network via the Internet. Many companies use this to connect and share data with satellite offices, as the data is encrypted and secure. The main benefit to VPNs is that you can connect to a public Wi-Fi network, and transfer data securely using the network’s bandwidth. Many businesses use some form of VPN, which makes it easy for you to keep your business data secure while out of the office.
There are also VPNs that allow you to securely access the Internet via a public Wi-Fi connection, while encrypting all data sent and making your computer anonymous.
The key is to make it as difficult as possible for someone to hack into your computer.
Courtesy of the first stable release of a Firefox add-on.
The tool does not let you force HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) willy-nilly on Web sites. Instead, it includes a series of rules that supports sites that allow HTTPS encryption. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said in the blog post announcing the release that it encompasses more than 1,000 popular sites, including Google Search, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, bit.ly, GMX, WordPress.com blogs, The New York Times, Paypal, EFF.org, Tor, and Ixquick. The extension was co-developed between the EFF and The TOR Project, which is a Web service that encrypts data transmitted to and from your computer.
Not only is HTTPS Everywhere site-dependent, even sites that it works for might have some content that slips out of the encryption. The best way to check this, the EFF wrote, is to ensure that your browser’s lock icon isn’t broken or carrying an exclamation mark. “However, the effort that would be required to eavesdrop on your browsing should still be usefully increased,” the blog post said.
- Encrypt the Web with HTTPS Everywhere (eff.org)
- Privacy-centric alternatives to Google, Gmail, and Facebook (news.cnet.com)