Free public Wi-Fi can be beneficial for working professionals who need to stay in touch with the office. However, according to IT consultants in Los Angeles, it also comes with risks that could compromise device and company security. It’s important to know the potential dangers and to take precautions against them.
Know the Dangers of Public Wi-Fi
When you attach a device to a public Wi-Fi, you may actually be attached to a hacker instead. Mimicking a free hotspot is a common trick used by hackers. People automatically hook up to the “free” network and that gives the hacker free access to information being sent over the connection.
Hackers also use the connection to distribute malware. You see a prompt asking if you want to update a common piece of software. Clicking that prompt triggers the installation of malware to the device. That malware could open the device up for direct hacking or it could replicate itself across your business network.
Precautions You Need to Take When on Public Wi-Fi
Here are five precautions you and your employees should take when using public Wi-Fi, according to IT consultants in Los Angeles:
- Install Security Software – Every device should have security software installed on it. The software should scan any downloads for potential malware. It should also conduct periodic scans for viruses and other security issues.
- Use a Virtual Private Network – When connecting any device to your company’s website, you need to use a VPN. This encrypts the data, so, even if a hacker gets the feed, it’s unreadable.
- Always Use HTTPS – When browsing the Internet, always use SSL connections, especially when entering credentials or personal information. Many people use the same ID and password on multiple sites. Once the hacker has that information, it can be used all over the place.
- Only Use Wi-Fi When Needed – If you are working on something that doesn’t require the Internet, turn off your Wi-Fi connection. It will shut down any hacker attempts at access. Plus, it will help preserve your battery life.
- Don’t Share – Some operating systems allow you to share information about your device to any connected network. Turn this option off in your OS settings or control panel. It’s one less thing for hackers to leverage.
These precautions will help protect you from hackers on public Wi-Fi. For help to secure your company devices, contact Advanced Networks today. We are the IT consultants Los Angeles businesses can rely on for their technology security and support.