Around The Insurance Place, Jim is our go-to for tech support questions. He is always coaching us on sneaky tricks of hackers and what to be watching for. One thing he does not like is public Wi-Fi. There are too many people using the network and limited ways to keep your information secure on the shared platform.
However, there are times you just can’t avoid it. So if you need to go online and public Wi-Fi is your only option, here are some great tips to help keep you safe.
- Keep your device updated so that it has the latest security before connecting to public Wi-Fi.
- Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) from a reputable provider onto your device so that your information is encrypted when being sent.
- Confirm with the business/location where you are connecting that you are choosing the right network. Hackers can name their network anything so “coffee-shop-wifi” could be legit, but “coffeeshopwifi” could be someone trying to steal data.
- Use a public Wi-Fi network that requires a password or other secure log in options.
- Stick to websites that are encrypted (start with HTTPS at the beginning of the web address).
- Do not use public Wi-Fi for any financial transactions. This includes logging into your bank account, making an online purchase, etc.
- If you have to log into any account, know that your password could be intercepted. Logout of the account as soon as you are done. While your Netflix password may not be that much of a concern, what if that same password is used for several other accounts you have? Suddenly, that hacker has your access key to those other accounts as well. That is why it is recommended to have individual passwords for each of your accounts.
- Once you are done with what you needed, log off and “forget” the network so your device doesn’t automatically connect next time without you being aware.
Many homeowners and renters policies provide the option to purchase Identity Theft Expense Coverage. This endorsement covers the added costs of correcting your credit and clearing up identity theft issues, including attorney fees. If you are unsure if you have the coverage or would like a quote to add it, please feel free to contact us at 303-232-3100 or email your agent directly.