Balance Convenience of Wi-Fi with Safety

One of our newest favorite blogs to follow is  In a recent post by Emily Eckland, Director of Digital Strategy & Awareness Campaigns, she shared valuable tips for using Wi-Fi spot while vacationing this summer.  It’s a great convenience to be able to use our devices in airports, hotels, train stations, coffee shops and other public places, but be aware they’re often not secure.

Be cautious when connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots and mindful that you’re likely online through an unsecured or unprotected network.

Tips she advises:

•Keep a clean machine. Having the latest security software, operating system, web browser and apps is the best way to protect yourself from the malware and other threats you may encounter when using public Wi-Fi.

•Be wary of the sites you visit and the information you share while doing so.  When entering personal information over the Internet (logging into email or social networking sites or banking or shopping), make sure the website is encrypted. Encrypted websites use https://.  Look for https:// on every page, not just the login or welcome page.  You can force a website to https:// by adding the “s” in front of URL.

•Avoid connecting to hotspots that don’t seem legitimate or are misspelled.  It’s not uncommon for cybercriminals to set up Wi-Fi hotspots called “free Wi-Fi” in airports and hotels.

•Be wary of pop-up windows that prompt you to accept and install software updates when using hotel Internet connections. Last year, the FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Center issued a warning about a rise in malware being installed on travelers’ laptops.

•Remember, a 3G/4G connection is safer than an unsecured Wi-Fi connection when shopping, banking and using other websites that access personal information.

•Consider turning off features on your computer or mobile devices that allow you to automatically connect to Wi-Fi.

•Turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it. Bluetooth-enabled devices like headsets and wireless keyboards are great accessories for traveling, but can leave you and your personal information at risk. When these devices are not in use, turn off the Bluetooth setting on your phone or tablet. If you leave the functionality on, cybercriminals can pair with your device’s open connection and steal personal information.

For more on ways to protect your personal information and stay safe from ID Theft, please visit

by HV Shred