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How to Use Public WiFi Safely & Stay Safe Outside [8 Tips]

There are times when you need to connect a public WiFi. This article introduces 8 the do's and don'ts to tell you how to use public WiFi safely.

In today’s world, the convenience of public WiFi networks is undeniable. Whether you’re working remotely, traveling, or just enjoying a cup of coffee at your local cafe, you might want to connect the public WiFi and stay connected. However, connecting to public WiFi also comes with risks and challenges. These hidden risks may interfere with the safety of your personal information.

How to Use Public WiFi Safely

As it is not safe to connect to public WiFi, what should you do? Don’t worry. In this article, you will learn how to use public WiFi safely in several essential practices, such as using a VPN, verifying the network’s legitimacy, and ensuring secure websites. After reading this article, you can know what to do before, while, and after connecting to public WiFi.

Public WiFi usually is a wireless internet connection service that you can find in public places such as coffee shops, airports, hotels, and shopping malls. Most offered public WiFi has a very weak password or is even available for everyone. So before introducing how to use WiFi safely in a public place, you should also know what are the hidden risks of using public WiFi.

1. Identity Theft: One of the hidden risks associated with public WiFi is identity theft. When connecting to unsafe public networks, the usernames, passwords, and even banking details you enter can be exploited so that others might collect your information and use it to execute unauthorized transactions or stolen funds.

2. Password Leak: Another hidden risk is the potential leakage of your passwords. Connecting to public WiFi sometimes will require you to register a new account and set a password. During this process, others might hack your password manager and get access to all of your stored accounts and passwords.

3. Malware attack: Malware attacks are also common threats you might encounter when using public WiFi. Some hackers would deploy malware in public networks and infect connected devices. Once your phone or computer is attacked by malware, your device or personal files might break down or get lost.

Now you know the potential risks you may encounter when using public WiFi, then it is time to learn how to use WiFi securely in public. Let’s start before connecting.

Before connecting your devices to public WiFi, there are some precautions you should keep in mind. Following these steps adjust some settings on your devices.

1. Turn off the file-sharing feature

It is strongly recommended to turn off the file-sharing functions on your device before using an unfamiliar WiFi. For example, disable AirDrop on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. For Windows users, you can go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center to adjust the file-sharing settings.

2. Open firewall

If you’re using a laptop, make sure that you have enabled the firewall of your computer to protect it from unauthorized access. Most operating systems have built-in firewalls, check your settings to confirm it’s turned on and properly configured. For additional security, use a VPN when accessing public WiFi.

3. Use anti-virus software

Next, it’s crucial to install up-to-date antivirus software on your device. Applying such protective software can provide a robust security layer against potential malware and other cyber threats that may lurk on public WiFi networks.

By adjusting your settings before connecting to public WiFi and implementing these safety precautions, you can better protect your personal information. The next part will tell you how to stay safe on hotel WiFi or airport WiFi while connecting.

While you’re at hotels, airports, cafes, and other locations, and connecting to a public WiFi, you’re actually exposed to various potential security risks. If you want to know how to get secure WiFi when traveling, here are some tips you can take:

1. Use a VPN to Stay Safe on Public WiFi

If you’re new to the term - VPN, you might wonder “Is it safe to use public WiFi with VPN?” Luckily, the answer is yes! Using a VPN is an essential step to protect your data when connected to public WiFi. A VPN can help solve network problems and set you a virtual IP address. One of the reliable VPN options available is iTop VPN.

iTop VPN is available on multiple devices and platforms such as Windows, macOS, and iOS. It is the most secure VPN choice for users who are usually connected to public WiFi. Here are the main features of iTop VPN:

Best-in-class encryption VPN: It applies the best-in-class encryption to ensure the safety of your data. As a free VPN, iTop VPN can prevent your online activities from being intercepted by any third-party advertisers.

100% safe to use with no-log policy: iTop VPN guarantees that it will not store any logs of your browsing history or record any of your personal information, ensuring your privacy.

Smart kill-switch to stop info leak: The kill-switch feature of iTop VPN automatically disconnects your device from the public WiFi network if the VPN connection gets disrupted, preventing information leaks.

IPv6 servers & DNS protection: iTop VPN for Windows supports IPv6 servers and offers DNS protection. This helps in maintaining your privacy by preventing DNS leaks and safeguarding you with IPv6 protocol.

Connect to global servers: iTop VPN provides users with more than 1800 servers in over 100 locations. Whether you want to seek VPN India or get access to other locations such as America and Australia, you can find a stable server in iTop VPN.

3 Steps to Stay Safe While Using Public WiFi:

Step 1. Download and install iTop VPN on your device. Here takes an iTop VPN on a Windows computer as an example.

Step 2. You can see all available servers in the All Servers tab, choose a trusted one, and click Connect.

Choose a Trusted Server in iTop VPN

Step 3. Once connect to a server, you can see there is a note telling you that your privacy is protected with anonymous surfing now.

iTop VPN Connected for Public WiFi

That’s it! Now you’re connected to a secure VPN and don’t need to worry about how to get secure WiFi when traveling. Besides helping you to stay safe on public WiFi, iTop VPN can also help you to bypass geographical restrictions to use VPN for streaming and gaming.

2. Never Enter Sensitive Info to Stay Safe on Public WiFi

The next tip you should keep in mind when connecting to a public WiFi network is to be cautious about the information you share. For the question of how to stay safe on hotel WiFi, the most important answer is never to enter sensitive information such as your banking details or passwords.

3. Use HTTPS & SSL Connections

When browsing, make sure the websites you visit have HTTPS in their URL.

Even after connecting to a public WiFi network, there are still steps you can take to protect your data and stay safe. Whether you're traveling or using hotel WiFi, following these tips will greatly reduce the possibility you’re under attack.

1. Turn off auto-connect: To prevent your device from automatically connecting to any unfamiliar nearby networks that are available, disable auto-connect in your device settings.

2. Clear history and caches: Clearing your browsing history and cache after using public WiFi will minimize any residual traces of your online activity.

1. What not to do on public Wi-Fi?

When using public Wi-Fi, it's best to avoid sensitive transactions, such as online banking or shopping. And stick to only visiting secure sites with HTTPS in the URL. Avoid downloading any files or clicking on unfamiliar links as they may contain malware.

2. Is it safe to use public Wi-Fi with VPN?

3. Yes. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, and change location free, preventing your data from being intercepted or viewed. This prevents others from tracking your online activities or getting access to your personal information.

3. Can the Wi-Fi owner see what sites I visit?

Yes, Wi-Fi owners, also known as ISPs (Internet Service Provider), have the potential to monitor your Internet activity, including the websites you visit. However, they can't see the specific content you view on encrypted websites (those using HTTPS).

Final Thoughts

When using public Wi-Fi, it's important to prioritize your safety and privacy. This article introduces essential tips on how to use public WiFi safely in order to protect your personal information and devices. Keep in mind that to stick to networks that you know and trust, turn off file-sharing features, and consider using a VPN service like iTop VPN to encrypt your data.

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