Free wifi: Anyone can look over your shoulder

20 December 2016

Free wifi – it’s such a fantastic invention! But that public internet connection in a restaurant or train can have some serious downsides. For while it offers easy access to the internet for you, it also offers easy access to you for internet criminals. Access to the sensitive and private information on your mobile device.

Use security software
That is why you should always have good security software installed on your device. Applications such as a virus scanner and a firewall. And remember to use a login account and encrypt your stored data. It’s not difficult; you only need to find out.

Surf securely with a VPN
Once you’ve made sure no one can use a public internet connection to access your mobile device, there is another thing to take care of. Because computer criminals can intercept your data traffic. And that includes passwords and pin codes you’re using at the time. This can be prevented by using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. Watch this short video to see how VPN works.

A short explanation of a VPN
A VPN connection re-routes the internet traffic from your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone through an encrypted i.e. secure internet connection. You will be working in a so-called VPN tunnel, in which nobody can intercept your internet traffic. You can often arrange a VPN with your own internet provider, but there also are specific VPN suppliers. VPN suppliers with the highest ratings: click here. Overview of free VPN suppliers: click here.

Additional VPN benefits
A VPN is also useful when you do not trust a certain website, and do not want it to know your IP address. That website will not see your personal IP address, but that of the VPN server. Another VPN benefit is that it allows you to circumvent regional restrictions. Websites can use your IP address to find out in which country you’re based, which can lead to certain content being restricted; this applies to Netflix, for example.

Common sense
Safe surfing on the internet starts with you. So ask yourself whether it is smart to use a public wifi connection to do your banking or to send a confidential email. You may want to wait until you’re home and protected by your own secure internet provider.

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