5 Ways To Avoid A Data Breach On Public Wi-Fi

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You might supply an incredible product or service that is better than anything else on the market, but all it takes is one data breach to nullify all your hard work. Whether it’s getting their hands on your customers’ demographic information or accessing more precious personal information that should stay private, hackers can harm your company’s reputation and ability to produce in the blink of an eye.

Educating your team in email security and beefing up your overall online security through the implementation of managed IT services and solutions are fantastic steps to take if you want to tighten up the digital boundaries protecting your company’s valuable data. But sometimes that’s not enough.

With today’s business world relying more and more on cloud technology and working externally, there’s a good chance members of your team will be accessing your company’s infrastructure from afar. Unfortunately, this can often mean checking in over public Wi-Fi connections. While such connections bring incredible convenience and access to your team, they can also bring all sorts of scary security issues with grave consequences if you and your workers are not careful.

Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to public Wi-Fi security so you can stop a potential data breach from happening.

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

Want an extra layer of security between yourself and those who might be monitoring the information being sent over a public Wi-Fi connection? A VPN can give you just that. When turned on, a VPN sends the information to and from your computer or mobile device through a separate server that encrypts it. That way, you stop hackers from being able to read what you’re accessing. Instead, all they see is garbled nonsense that they can’t use to hurt you and your company.

Keep an eye on the details

One thing sneaky hackers like to try to do is trick you into logging onto a different Wi-Fi connection that is easier for them to monitor and steal from. One of the simplest ways for them to do so is by setting up a Wi-Fi connection that has a name similar to another connection. This is often done by switching a lowercase “l” to a capital “I” or adding the word “the” to the beginning of a coffee shop name. Don’t fall for such tactics!

Another small, but no less important, way to avoid a data breach on public Wi-Fi is to keep an eye out for “https” in the URL bar. This extra “s” is important, as it signifies that the site on which you’re surfing is secured with SSL encryption. This is especially important if you are punching in any sort of credit card information or other personal data that needs to stay private.

Wait if you can

The less time you spend on sensitive websites the better, so if you don’t need to check your company’s finances or login to your organisation’s business suite, try to wait until you’re back in the safety of your home or office. This stops hackers from having a chance to skim your login details that they can then go back and use later to devastating effect.

Stay up to date with your protection

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Getting dependable antivirus and malware protection for your laptop and other mobile devices is a great idea and a wonderful first step in protecting both yourself and your company. But it doesn’t mean much if you don’t keep it updated! If you know you’re going to be connecting to public Wi-Fi, make sure your security software is up to date and ready to roll.

Cut yourself off when you can

If you have your phone in your pocket for long stretches of time or know you won’t need to connect to Wi-Fi services or any other sort of shared capability any time soon, go ahead and disable those features from your phone temporarily. Turn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other sharing services off and this’ll eliminate the risk of a potential data breach. 

Of course we all wish that hackers would just stop playing games so we could freely use handy public Wi-Fi connections at our convenience. But we all know that’s not the case. Follow these tips and tricks to help keep your company’s information out of the hands of nefarious digital villains so you can take care of business away from the office without having to worry.