Rethink Security

Staying Safe on Public WiFi

security infosec wifi

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

2023 is here and the thought about writing some best practices about “Staying Safe on Public WiFi” strucked me while connected to a public WiFi.

As convenient as it is to connect to free public WiFi when we’re on the go, it’s important to remember that these networks can also be a security risk. Hackers and cybercriminals often target public WiFi networks because they are more vulnerable to attacks.

Here are some tips for staying safe on public WiFi.

Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN)1 encrypts your internet connection and helps to protect your online activity from being monitored. When connected to a VPN, your data is sent through a secure, encrypted tunnel, making it much more difficult for hackers to intercept.

Avoid using public WiFi for sensitive tasks

While it may be tempting to check your bank account or make an online purchase while connected to a free WiFi network, it’s generally best to avoid performing sensitive tasks on public WiFi. If you must, make sure the website is secure (look for “https” in the URL) and consider using a credit card with a low credit limit for added protection.


Enable two- or multi-factor authentication2. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security that requires you to enter a code sent to your phone in addition to your password when logging in to an account. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts, even if they manage to obtain your password.

Keep your devices and software up to date

Outdated software and operating systems can have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Make sure to keep all of your devices and software (including your router) up to date with the latest patches and security updates.

Optional: Use a firewall

When using a Laptop a firewall helps to protect your device from incoming network traffic that may contain malicious content. Many operating systems come with a built-in firewall, but you can also use a third-party firewall for added protection.

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