6 Tips To Keep Your Mobile WiFi Hotspots Safe

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Articles
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Wireless Networks SecurityPublic Wi-Fi mobile hotspots are a hacker’s dream and a mobile user’s nightmare. The security tips listed below will help to keep your data safe while browsing online.

1. Choose Secure Networks 

Most hotspots have no security or very weak at best. Some Wi-Fi providers do maintain a secure network. Always use networks that have some form of encryption to reduce the chances of hackers getting into your data.  If you’re using Windows 7 onward, left click on the wireless network icon and hover over the SSID to see the type of security used. Steer clear of connections that show “Unsecured.”

2. Set Network Location to “Public”

Window 7 will automatically pop up and ask you to assign a location to your network whenever you connect to a new network. Choose “Public Network” from the options presented if you’re using a widely available hotspot. Setting Public Network Location will block file and printer sharing which hackers use to sniff out your data. With HomeGroup disabled and network discovery turned off, your private data will be safer on a public wireless network.

3. Get Your Own MiFi Mobile Hotspot

If you get your own MiFi hotspot, you won’t need to rely on other networks that might be unsafe. MiFi is a lot cheaper than it used to be, and the coverage has improved a lot. Other users could share your MiFi too since some of them support up to five users. Carry your own MiFi on the go and you’ll have a safe and secure connection.

4. Use a VPN Secure Network

You’ll need to harden your data defenses as there’s only so much an antivirus could do to keep you safe. Keep all your documents that you’ll like to keep confidential in select folders and hide those folders from view. This is very simple to do in Windows. Just right click the folder and go to Properties -> General and change the attribute to Hidden. Your next step should be to hide the files on Windows Explorer. Although this security measure is not 100% foolproof, it will make it harder for hackers to see your sensitive data.

5. Limit Your Activities

As much as possible, limit your activities on public Wi-Fi. This means don’t pay bills, access your bank account, or log into other sites where you keep private information. Don’t give hackers any opportunity to gain access to your personal data. Those types of transactions can wait until you’re connected to a secure network, right?

6. Don’t Save Passwords

Your browser and some websites mean well when they ask if you’ll like to store your password. Your first impulse would be to say yes to these requests because it would be one less password for you to remember. You’re better off ignoring those requests especially for banking and credit card sites. There are perhaps dozens of applications that you can use to store all your passwords if you need help remembering them. Use those programs if you must so you won’t have to store your information where hackers can easily get to it.

Steve Brown compares mobile broadband providers to help consumers get value for money. For more tips like these see what he has to say on uSwitch.

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