Back to travelling: Is it safe to use public Wi-Fi when you’re on the go?

Now that travel has resumed, we’re planning adventures and holidays again, this time with more safety considerations.

As well as COVID safety when on the go, travellers need to consider cyber safety to avoid being hacked on public Wi-Fi. You’ve probably wondered, ‘is it safe to use public Wi-Fi?’ In short, the answer is no, unless your device has advanced protection installed.

Whether you’re taking a well-deserved holiday or you’ve shifted to remote work and you’re on a “workcation”, it’s highly likely you’ll require Wi-Fi when travelling.

There are a few ways to keep your sensitive data safe when travelling, including having updated Internet security software for your laptop and mobile. Here are our top tips to stay safe online when travelling.

internet security software
Internet security software will inform you when you connect to an unprotected wireless network

Is it safe to use public Wi-Fi?

So, you’ve checked into your hotel and need to do a bit of life admin on your laptop. It’s so important to know the dangers and how to stay safe on public Wi-Fi. There are potential risks whenever you join a Wi-Fi network, as users can not always be sure about the network they’re joining.

Anyone can set up a network and attract users to join what looks like a legitimately safe hotspot. Even the public Wi-Fi networks you can connect to easily at libraries, airports, and hotels are unencrypted, meaning hackers can see what you’re doing online and could obtain data being sent via the connection.

What’s needed is an added layer of protection. Internet security software such as ESET Internet Security or ESET Mobile Security will inform you when you connect to an unprotected wireless network. With Internet security software, and the following tips considered, you can check emails, get some work done, and book the next leg of your holiday online without a worry.

internet security software
Protect all of your devices on the go

How to protect your devices on the go

Steer clear of anything ‘phishy’ online

Don’t be fooled. You’re not the winner of a heap of Bitcoin. Don’t even open the email. If it’s too good to be true, it likely is. No matter if you’re at home or on holiday, look out for emails or websites asking you to provide your details to claim your prize, or download something. Once downloaded, a document could spread malicious software and hackers could hijack your computer. It’s not ideal, so don’t get caught up.

Make sure you “forget” public Wi-Fi networks

Once you’re finished using a Wi-Fi network, “forget” the network so you’re not leaving a connection on for hackers to access your device. Imagine that. You’ve checked out of the hotel, but your connection is still open and you head to the airport to board a ten-hour flight. That’s at least ten hours for hackers to get up to some mischief.

A VPN will hide your data to reduce the risk of exposure to cyber threats

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network, known as a VPN, is a great addition to hide your data like passwords, browser cookies and credit card numbers from hackers. Using a VPN when on free public Wi-Fi will reduce the risk of exposure to cyber threats.

Back up your devices

In case something happens to any of your devices, it’s always a good idea to back everything up. There are two ways to backup, and a combination of both is recommended. You’ll benefit from backing everything up on an external hard drive and in the Cloud. Why both? Because it’s very unlikely you’ll lose the hard drive and access to the cloud at the same time. Make sure your password for your Cloud is really strong.

Do I need antivirus software?

Having antivirus software installed will ensure you have cyber safety and peace of mind on your trip. It’s a simple and affordable way to safely access the internet, no matter where you are in the world. Choose to travel safely with ESET and keep your computer and details safe and secure from hackers.

This story on internet security software was produced in partnership with ESET.

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