In our fast-paced digital world, high mobile connectivity is a necessity, which often comes at the price of security. We sacrifice a secure connection for a fast and reliable one when in need of Internet access at airports, public buildings and restaurants. Many of us like to work or study at coffee or book shops because they offer comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi, but be careful. There are risks.
- Use a VPN connection. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) works by encapsulating network traffic in an encrypted tunnel to a secure endpoint. Traffic is both encrypted and authenticated, rendering an attacker unable to read or modify traffic.
- Require “https”. Users should require all websites that send or receive personal information to use SSL. This includes your webmail. Many social media sites now offer SSL.
- Don’t connect to unsecured wireless hotspots automatically. Configure your computer not to automatically connect to a wireless network. This will prevent you from accidentally exposing private/confidential information because you might think you are on a secure network when, in fact, you are not.
- Run a firewall program on your device. Firewalls guard against attack from other computers also connected to the unsecured network. This prevents someone from connecting to your device and downloading information from your hard drive.
- Ensure that your computer has virus and malware protection. To help prevent security threats from infecting your PC, install antivirus and anti-malware software and keep them updated. The more you know about how to make secure transactions when away from your home or office computer, the less likely it is you will encounter problems.