Transcript: Easy Ways to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi networks give you access to the Internet by radio signals instead of wires. So you get to surf the net anywhere…like at hotels, airports or at the mall. You can get online at a coffee shop. Or, at that other coffee shop that's so nice they call it a café.

But there are, ahem, strings attached to that public wireless network you're on. It has other people on it, and some of them might be cyber criminals who are after your information. Cyber crooks are especially likely to lurk on Wi-Fi networks that don't require passwords. They'll even set up so-called 'evil twin' networks in the same area as safe Wi-Fi networks, with a similar name, to fool you into logging on. And even if you avoid cyber criminals online, there may be some “shoulder surfers” in the café whose prying eyes might see you doing things like entering a password.

It's easy to lose everything on a public Wi-Fi network. But it's just as easy to protect yourself, by doing some very easy things.

Easy thing number one. Defend your device by enabling your firewall and keeping your anti-virus software up to date. This is more important than ever if you're using a public Wi-Fi network.

Easy thing number two. Look carefully at the address of the network you're logging on to, watching for spelling variations designed to fool you. Also, turn off any “auto connect” or “ask to join networks” features, or you might be connected to an evil twin network without even knowing it.

Easy thing number three. Look out for those 'shoulder surfers'. Especially when entering passwords.

Easy thing number four. When you're finished using public Wi-Fi, log out immediately. That's like locking the doors on hackers.

Wi-Fi networks let you get online just about anywhere. They also provide cyber criminals opportunities to scam you everywhere. But if you keep on doing the easy things we've shown you here, your wire-free web experience will be a worry-free one, too.

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