How to use public hotspots safely

Working remotely is more common than it’s ever been with hotspots generally available in many places. Just find the hotspot in your wi-fi settings, connect with the establishment’s password, and you’re online.

Hold it, this makes it easy for hackers looking for someone to hack. It might take a little more effort but keeping your information away from prying eyes is worth the effort.

For mobile phones, LTE connections are much more secure than hotspots. Turn off the wi-fi and browse away, with the knowledge your data is safe. It will eat into your data cap but not much if you’re not streaming lots of video. The resurgence of unlimited data plans makes that a non-issue. It may be time to switch.

Some tablets have LTE and the same rules apply. For laptops and tablets lacking LTE, use your secure phone to get them online safely.

You can use a virtual private network network (VPN) to keep your data encrypted and thus secure if you must use public hotspots. These typically work on laptops so they may not protect all devices. There are a number of VPNs to choose from, both paid and free.

Hackers have gotten clever with snooping your data, so be aware. This includes a method referred to as “juice jacking” where they can see your phone when it’s charging from a laptop as many do. Plug your phone into a laptop via a standard USB charging cable and it is exposed to these hackers.

If you regularly top off your phone battery, get in the habit of carrying your phone charger with you. Always plug the phone and charger into a wall outlet to be safe. Don’t take a chance with your precious information.

These simple steps will keep your data away from prying eyes and let you work remotely without worry.

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