There are steps you can take to minimise the risks associated with using public networks:
- Don’t just assume that the wi-fi link is legitimate. It could be a bogus link that has been set up by a cybercriminal who’s trying to capture valuable, personal information from unsuspecting users.
- Question everything and don’t connect to an unknown or unrecognised wireless access point.
- Try to verify it’s a legitimate wireless connection. Some bogus links that have been set up by malicious users will have a connection name that’s deliberately similar to the coffee shop, hotel or venue that’s offering free wi-fi.
- If you can speak with an employee at the location, ask for information about their legitimate wi-fi access point such as the connection’s name and IP address.
- Consider using your mobile phone network. If you need to access any websites that store or require the input of any sensitive information including social networking, online shopping and online banking sites it may be worthwhile accessing them via your mobile phone network, instead of the public wi-fi connection.