Travel time is hotspot time: The proper way to connect to public Wi-Fi while on holiday
Aachen, Germany, 10 July 2019 – On holiday, most people are frequently in search of public Wi-Fi hotspots, whether that's at the train station or airport, at the hotel or even at that nice little café around the corner. Smartphones, tablets and laptops are hooked up to freely accessible Wi-Fi networks so that people can check their e-mails while waiting for the plane, watch their favourite series at night before bed or share their best snapshots with friends and family at home while out and about. However, there are a few important rules to follow when using free Wi-Fi.
Establish a connection manually
The first major step toward a secure connection is selecting the right free Wi-Fi network. You ought to establish the connection manually – every time. A favourite trick among scammers is to create Wi-Fi networks with very similar names to those of the secure networks. If you're not paying attention, you can fall into their trap easily and share personal data.
For the same reason, when you're travelling you should disable the option to connect automatically to familiar Wi-Fi networks. Because this feature also makes you an easy target for hackers who might, for example, set up a Wi-Fi network in the area of the airport or café and give this network the same name and log-in data as the familiar network. In the worst-case scenario, your mobile device would connect to this network without you even realising what's going on.
Disable sharing for files and folders
If you are using your laptop to connect to public Wi-Fi networks, you should disable file and folder sharing as a precautionary measure. When you're at home using your own network, this type of sharing can be an easy and convenient way to exchange data between computers. But on public networks, this sharing can be a potential way for attackers. That is why you should be sure to close off this access point. After all, you probably won't actually need to use the sharing feature while you're on holiday anyway.
Don't get your hopes up for high speed
In case you do actually need to use large and important files while you're travelling, you should copy them to your mobile devices before you leave or take them with you on a USB storage device. This method gives you two major advantages. It's lets you avoid potential security risks when downloading files over free Wi-Fi networks and saves you from lengthy download times. Generally speaking, public networks aren't exactly known for having high speeds.
Make sure connections are secure
You should always follow this tip when browsing the Internet – especially when you're using public Wi-Fi connections. Secure and encrypted connections to websites and online services are extremely important. They ensure that the transmitted data cannot be read by other people on the same network by default. This plays an especially crucial role when transferring payment information or other personal information. This is why you should always make sure to use what are called HTTPS connections. You can identify whether a connection is an HTTPS connection because the web browser will display a lock icon next to the URL.
Before your trip, update all the software on your mobile devices and install any available security updates. This is the only way to ensure that any known gaps in security have been closed and that attackers won't be able to use these gaps to target you on public networks.
Wi-Fi at home: fast, secure, trouble-free
Would you rather avoid thinking about all this when you're at home, not travelling? Then you can turn to the smart home networking solutions from devolo. The German Internet experts offer you a tremendous variety of products that you can use to give your home a fast and secure connection to the web. These products range from Powerline solutions like the devolo Magic adapters – which provide each room with an Internet signal over the power network and enable top-notch mesh Wi-Fi everywhere – to lightning-fast access points. Speeds up to 2,400 Mbps and state-of-the-art 128-bit encryption prepare your home for the future – with hardware and program Engineered in Germany.