Wireless Internet is the wave of the future. Laptops are no longer a rarity, but a common sight at restaurants, parks, booksellers, and schools. Wireless hotspots are changing the face of technology and the manner in which people work, study, and surf the web. They allow vacationers, students, and employees the ability to check email, peruse the Internet, and even work on corporate networks sending and receiving large files with software like FileZilla while out and about.
The only necessities for wireless access are a notebook or laptop and a wireless card. You can find wireless hotspots in many public places, including coffee bistros, libraries, airports, hotels, and even McDonald’s. The one feature that all hotspots share is that they are all open networks susceptible to security risks. By following a few simple tips, wireless users can help protect themselves from a cyber-assault.
While you’re not in control of a wireless connection, you can verify the connection’s security. Try to choose a network that requires a security key or certificate. These networks encrypt information and help protect your PC from outside access. And even when they are secure, make sure to still use secure and safe software like File Zilla and other secure programs.
Activate your firewall and keep it activated. Most wireless hotspots are near other wireless networks. Configure your PC to connect only to the network you choose by verifying access points. Turn off your computer’s ability to share files and printers when you’re working in public. Leaving this ability on is like leaving your doors unlocked while going on vacation—it’s an easy way in for hackers.
Make all folders private on your laptop to make them more difficult for hackers to get in to. You can go one step further and encrypt files; this is a one-at-a-time process, so do it only for those files you will be opening on a public network. Encrypted files require passwords to open or change them in any way. Remove particularly private information entirely from any device you’ll use on a wireless network.
When you take precautions, WiFi is a safe way to work or play.