Is Wifi Secure? | How to Be Safe when Accessing Public Wifi

For many of us, connecting to wifi is a 24/7 thing nowadays. Our devices at home all use wifi, and even when you leave the house, the likelihood is that you’re going to another place where you’ll likely connect to their wifi.

But with so many of us connecting to wifi on a daily basis, we definitely need to ask the question; just how secure is our wifi connection? Now, this will vary greatly depending on which wifi you’re connecting too. However, we can help to ensure that your connection is secure and safe. So, let’s look at just how secure your wifi connection is.

Is wifi secure?

The fact of the matter is that your home wifi is going to be much more secure than connecting to a public wifi. The changes of you being hacked by connecting to either of these is rather slim, however it’s much easier for someone to hack you if you’re connecting to a public wifi connection.

A hacker doesn’t always want to know your bank details and your credit card numbers. They may be able to hack your phone to know your location, or just to know which websites you’ve been visiting.

Whilst wifi is relatively secure, there are things that you can do to ensure your safety. Here are a few of the things that you can do to further protect yourself.

Ways you can protect yourself when using Wifi in Public

If you’re going to use public wifi, then there are some things that you can do to help you minimize any potential risk of your connection being compromised.

Download a VPN

If you don’t use a VPN, then the likelihood is that you know a ton of people who do. With more and more people wanting more anonymity online, it’s no surprise that many people are now using a VPN whenever they’re browsing the web.

Not only can a VPN allow you to keep all of your online activity anonymous, but it can be another way to prevent yourself from being a victim of hackers. It’s one of the cheapest ways for you to protect yourself when browsing on your home wifi, but also on public wifi too.

Save purchases for home

If you really want to be careful when you’re using public wifi, then you can limit yourself to only making purchases from your home wifi. Your home wifi is much less vulnerable than a public wifi, and doing this can help to prevent someone getting access to your card details.

Generally, using your banking app on a public wifi is much safer than your emails, because companies invest a lot of money into encrypting their products and ensuring their security. This is the same case for apps like Apple Pay or Tesco Pay, which are very secure. The main threat is that someone can access your details like your email address and your card details, and then use your card themselves. Minimize the likeliness of this happening by only purchasing things online over your home wifi.

Use cellular when necessary

If you want to be very cautious, then one thing that you can do if you’re going to make purchases in public is to switch off your wifi and use your cellular data instead. This is going to be safer than making a purchase via a public wifi connection.

As well as this, you can also use a credit card instead of using your debit card. Credit cards are covered against fraud, so if you do get hacked, a credit card has better cover against fraud and offers better consumer protection.

Only use brand name wifis

If you’re going to a shopping centre and you’re looking for a wifi connection to connect to, try and stick to big name brands. You’re much less likely to have any trouble if you connect to Costa’s free wifi than if you connect to a wifi connection of a name you haven’t heard of before. Some people set up a public wifi connection with the sole intention of hacking into your device, so don’t give them what they want by connecting to their wifi.

Check for SSL certificates (https)

When you’re browsing the internet, if you’re going to make any purchases then make sure the website you’re on has a valid SSL certificate. This SSL certificate will mean that the website runs over https:// instead of just http://. Just check the website in your browser and see if has this, it should look like this;

ssl-wifi

The majority of websites on the internet nowadays will have this in place. But, just be sure to check that it has one, especially if you’re going to make a purchase.

Ways you can protect yourself when using Wifi at Home

Whilst some of the tips that apply to using a public wifi connection also apply to using a home connection too, some of them are just applicable to using your home wifi.

Keep your Router updated.

One of the most important things for you to do with your home internet is to keep your wifi router updated. the software that’s on your router becomes more vulnerable as time passes, so ensure that you’ve got the latest software installed to increase your protection.

Turn your firewall on

Most of the routers that you’ll find online nowadays do come with full firewall protection. However, many of them don’t even have the firewall turned on! So, make sure that your firewall is active on your router, as this is another thing that hackers will have to pass through to get your personal details.

Create a good password

A lot of people that try to set their wifi password to something simple they’ll remember, without thinking about other people connecting to it. But setting up a good username and password can help you to keep your wifi secure. So, make sure that you don’t name it abc123.

Conclusion

Overall, your home wifi is much more secure than using a public wifi. The likelihood is that you’ll never experience any kind of issue with your details or personal information being hacked by someone else when you’re connected to wifi. However, you should always take precautions when connecting to wifi, especially if it’s a connection that you don’t recognize.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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