Tech Tip: Don’t Use Public WiFi Until You Read This

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We’re all guilty of it: connecting to free public WiFi. Whether it’s at a coffee shop, a hotel or an airport, the temptation to check email and surf the web is just too strong to resist.

But before you connect to any free, public WiFi, make sure the connection is legitimate.

It’s not uncommon for hackers to set up fake clones of public WiFi access points to try and get you to connect to their WiFi over the legitimate, safe one being made available for public use. Before connecting, check with an employee to verify the name of the WiFi the store or location is providing.

Next, never access financial, medical or other sensitive data while on public WiFi. Also, don’t shop online and enter your credit card information unless you’re absolutely certain the connection point you’re using is safe and secure.

Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.

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