Wi-Fi Tips For Your Mobile Life

November 30th, 2017


Wi-Fi access is widely available, but many free connections are unsecured and leave your information travelling openly! Make your Wi-Fi experience more secure with the following tips.


  • When looking for an available and more secure wireless network, you will see ones using encryption marked with a small lock symbol next to the name of the network.
  • Some hotels and shops that provide free Wi-Fi to customers provide access to their secure networks by providing you with credentials or an access code when checking in, making a purchase, or on request. 
  • Ask someone who should know that a Wi-Fi network is trustworthy – the hotel concierge, the barista at the coffee shop, etc. There are no rules about naming your Wi-Fi network, so many Wi-Fi networks run by malicious actors use names that you expect to trust. Ask - don’t trust the name!
  • If you opt to use a public Wi-Fi connection, make sure you understand the risk – others may be able to see what you do. Keep this in mind and do not conduct sensitive transactions or log in using your credentials on any sites. Not all apps and sites support encryption and other good security practices, which leaves you much more open to many types of cyber-attacks when on a public Wi-Fi connection.
  • If you want to connect to a store or hotel’s network, check with an employee to see what the correct network is called, and see if they can provide a network password for a more secure, encrypted network.
  • Always use a secure, encrypted network that requires login credentials if you have the option. In the event that isn’t an option, and you can use your phone as a WiFi hotspot, use that instead to get a more secure connection for another device that can’t make direct use of the cellular network’s connection.
  • Make sure you do not choose to “remember this network” or “join this network automatically” once you have settled on a more trusted network for use during your vacation. If you have these settings switched on for a very generically named network, your device may connect you to a less secure one that happens to have the same name. Even if you have this turned off, there’s another setting that will automatically connect you to a network you have joined before, which can be a problem since your device doesn’t know the difference between your coffee shop’s “Guest” network and a malicious “Guest” network. Turn these settings off so you don’t automatically connect, and choose to connect only to more trusted, safer WiFi networks.

 

Content courtesy of the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) Monthly Security Tips Newsletter.