Thursday, March 14, 2013

6 Wi-Fi Security Tips for Travelers

When you travel a lot like me you obviously use free Wi-Fi at the hotels, airports, cafes and so on.

Traffic sent over Wi-Fi can be viewed or snooped by hackers and it's often possible to add or "inject" unwelcome traffic as well. Coffee shops like Star Bucks and public Wi-Fi spots are breeding grounds for hackers and crackers to steal business-related information from web surfers.

Will this "pool internet"in Manila be a safe connection? I doubt it...

So when you use free Wi-Fi hotspots you should take in account these six useful practices:

Tip # 1
Always use VPN (Virtual Private Network) because traffic sent over VPN is encrypted. Also if you travel to China you will need VPN to unblock facebook, youtube (many videos are blocked in Germany due to conflict with the copyright) or twitter because this websites are blocked in China (And you know how much I use facebook!!!)

Tip # 2
Cybercriminals are tricky and will often choose a malicious Wi-Fi name very similar to the legitimate network name. So make sure you connect to the right one. The best way to be sure you’re on a legitimate network is to verify the name of the network with a manager or employee of the establishment that sponsors the network. In the Philippines you will find everywhere a network called "Free Public Wifi" without security password. Just connect to it to make hackers life easier and pleasant..

Tip # 3
When you use free Wi-Fi without VPN, make sure you use secure protocol like HTTPs to FTPs to check you e-mail, upload files, etc. Do not login to the websites from free Wi-Fi networks if you have no HTTPS in the address bar.

Tip # 4
Do not transfer confidential data over Wi-Fi: turn off file sharing  ( and you should disable Bluetooth on your phone as well. It is good practice to turn off your wireless connection when you’re not using it. This will help conserve battery power too.

Tip # 5
Do not use internet banking over Wi-Fi without VPN.

Tip # 6
Make sure your laptop’s firewall is turned on and your antivirus is up to date.

That’s it! Here are some free VPN invitations to private VPN club Seed4.Me, especially for blog readers! (updated 30/10/13. If they had been used or expired, do not hesitate to let me know)

If you need more invitations to reliable VPN please ask me or contact Seed4.Me support to get one. You can also reach them in twitter.

Do you have any security tips that you would like to share with other readers?


Galipón said...

Nice advises!

Here in Japan I use a lot the free WiFi connections when I am in the street.

The problem is that there are just a few: Starbucks, McDonalds, some libraries...

And they all are crowded (low speed).

So at the end, they aren't really useful.

Noelfy said...

Yes, public one tends to be slow. Even the mobile one can be spot by the hackers!

Roy said...

One very important point to remember is don’t assume that a hot spot is real just because the name that pops up in your phone looks correct. If you’re at a hotel or cafe, ask a manager to confirm the name of its network and that the network is encrypted (i.e., locked and password protected). While online, stay on encrypted channels by using the website prefix https (rather than http).

Noelfy said...

That'a it, Roy!
Precaution is really important, no matter where you are!
Thanks for the comment!

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