With the Coroanvirus pandemic easing in much of the country, many people are  travelling this summer for their summer vacations. Many people take vacations to take a break from the responsibilities of work and running a household, however few of us seem to want to take a break from being connected to the world through our cellphones and that poses a particular threat to our security when we use public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, airports, hotels and other places while on vacation.  Whenever you use public Wi-Fi there are two problems.  First, you can’t be sure that you are actually using the public Wi-Fi and not a phony Wi-Fi easily set up by a hacker sitting near you who is stealing your information and second, someone may be able to hack into your device while you are on a legitimate public Wi-Fi.

TIPS

Whatever electronic device you are using to connect to a Wi-Fi network, whether it is a computer, laptop, tablet or cellphone. it should be equipped with up to date security software. Also use dual factor authentication whenever possible. Switch off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections when you are not using them.  In addition, you should have encryption software so that your communications are encoded.  You also should go to your settings and turn off sharing.  In addition, you should make sure that your firewall is up to date and turned on.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which enables you to send your communications through a separate and secure private network even while you are on a public network.  Here is a link to an article that lists  good VPNs you should consider.  https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/best-vpn/

For those interested, here is a link to a memorandum from the National Security Agency with detailed information about securing your wireless devices. https://media.defense.gov/2021/Jul/29/2002815141/-1/-1/0/CSI_SECURING_WIRELESS_DEVICES_IN_PUBLIC.PDF

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