The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team recently released a paper about the different wireless security problems that they see often in public wireless areas. These problems include wireless sniffing and shoulder surfing, which isn’t something you normally think about. These six tips will help you secure your wireless web surfing.
- Only use public networks for non-sensitive operations. It’s easy to assume your firewall or encryption can save you from sniffers, but it’s best not to even risk it.
- Use a VPN if possible. If you work for a company that gives you a virtual private network, why would you not use it to secure your wireless surfing?
- Protect yourself from shoulder surfing. Some Internet crime actually takes place when people with binoculars across the street look at your computer screen through a window to see what you’re up to. Don’t forget to protect your actual computer screen by sitting with your back to a wall whenever possible.
- Find a good encryption program. Pretty Good Privacy is a good option, or just use whatever email encryption program you like best.
- Avoid evil twin hot spots by contacting an employee at the hot spot location to see what the actual network is called there. Then you’ll know you’re always connecting to a legitimate network.
- Use HTTPS and SSL connections when possible. The extra security and encryption can make a big difference if you absolutely have to do sensitive things like banking at a public hot spot.
These six steps may not make your online wireless experience in a public hot spot totally secure, but it can help you keep your information more protected. The best thing you can do is just be careful when using public hot spots. They can be great for looking up directions to the nearest pizza place, but check your bank account balance to make sure you can afford the pizza before you leave home!
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Daniela from Creditdonkey.com contributed this post. Check out her latest post on the best business credit cards for small business at her blog.