MARCH 2013: Even the most content frog hops away from the pond once in a while and hangs out in a coffee shop.
If you also want to connect to WiFi while you enjoy your joe, follow these seven tips. You’ll protect your passwords and all that awesome information on your hard drive.
- Turn off sharing. For PCs, set your location type to “Public” and for Macs, uncheck any boxes in the Sharing preferences in System Preferences.
- Make sure your firewall is on and your antivirus software is running. Check out these links to free firewall/anti-virus for PC and Mac.
- Don’t use a network named “Free Public WiFi.” It’s probably a computer-to-computer network and not the coffee shop WiFi.
Keep in mind scammers choose trustworthy names for their networks, too, like the name of the coffee shop or AT&T.
- Make sure your email app is using SSL. SSL protects data in transit. You’ll find this option in your email software account settings.
- Wait until you’re home to bank and shop. Even if you needed a password to log into the coffee shop’s WiFi, everyone else using the same password can potentially see what you’re up to using hacking software. If you can’t wait, connect use your smartphone’s cellular connection for the transaction instead.
- Beware of shoulder surfing. This is when people watch what you type over your shoulder, just like at ATMs. It happens all the time.
- Turn off WiFi when you’re not using it.