Home > Our Products > How To Stay Safe When You Are Connected To A Public Wi-Fi Network?

How To Stay Safe When You Are Connected To A Public Wi-Fi Network?

Public Wi-Fi networks or hotspots are commonly used these days and more often than not, you find yourself connected to one. It might be in a local café, a coffee bar, your workplace, the mall, the university, etc. Basically, a Wi-Fi network can be called public if people within the range of that network are allowed to access it without any password or other security protocols. Although measures are taken by the provider of the network to ensure that it is secure, you might still find yourself becoming a victim of a hack sometimes.

You may be using software which will guard you against viruses and other threats, but unauthorized accessing often goes unnoticed until it is too late. So here are a few steps to ensue your safety while using a public Wi-Fi network.

Check For the HTTPS Sign

Many websites who want to protect their sites against packet snooping will use an encryption standard known as SSL/TSL. This uses a random encryption method where all the data packets (usually, data will be exchanged in the form of packets over wireless networks) will be encrypted randomly. The decryption is done at the receiver’s side. If any hacker or miscreant gains access to the information while it is in transit, all he/she will have is a load of encrypted data which is useless unless you have the decryption key.

If the website you are visiting follows this encryption standard, you will see the browser displaying the address preceded by ‘https’ tag. Without the encryption, it will only be ‘http’. In some browsers like Google chrome, the initial part of the address  will turn green indicating that your data exchange is secure and encrypted. The ‘S’ in ‘https’, stands for secure. Make sure that you don’t go on any site which is not secured using these encryption standards while you are on a public Wi-Fi network.

Using a VPN: Virtual Private Network

A virtual private network is probably the best alternative if you want to browse sites which do not employ SSL encryption standards. As the name suggests, it will virtually be your own private network. So, you don’t have to worry about invaders or eavesdroppers.

The technique employed by a VPN is pretty simple, yet effective. It will create a pathway (also called a ‘tunnel’ in technical terms) between your network location and the destination you want to visit. This tunnel/pathway will be solely dedicated to you and no one can access it as it will have an encryption method which is unique to your VPN.

Using a VPN, you can browse the net anonymously, shop without being tracked and stop worrying about you network being hacked by miscreants.

How to Obtain a VPN?

You can browse the internet for a list of VPNs. There are both free and paid VPNs, but the paid VPNs are probably more convenient than the free ones. In free VPNs, you will have to put up with ad pop-ups flashing every other minute. There is also a restriction on the amount of data which you can use on the free VPNs.

The paid VPNs on the other hand are safe and convenient to use. You can get one by shelling out a few dollars per month. The investment is worth it, as you will be getting a safe channel through which you can visit even sites which do not have encrypted channels of communication.

Setting Up The VPN

You will have to register with the VPN provider by creating a user ID. The provider will give you detailed instructions on how to set up your network, depending on the operating system you are using. You should use the IP address provided by your VPN vendor to access the internet through your own private network.

Categories: Our Products
  1. June 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no back up.
    Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

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