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keepING your information secure On public Wi-Fi networks

Keep your private information secure on public wi-fi networks

How to keep your information secure on public networks

We all enjoy the ability to connect to the internet wherever we go, but did you know that open Wi-Fi networks are not secure?

That’s right. Every time, you tap into Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, library, or another publicly available network, you’re opening yourself to a security risk. Even if you enter their Wi-Fi passwords.

Depending on your online activities, fraudsters may be able to “sniff out” your digital information and decode your usernames and passwords.

That’s one reason why it’s so important to use multiple passwords for your different logins. Say a fraudster cracks your Facebook password and sees you bank at Advantis. If your Online Banking password is the same as your Facebook password, you’ve just made it easy for them to steal from you.

Be smart about the ways you use public Wi-Fi. Save your private transactions for your secure home network.

As we move into the holiday season, with more potential for travel, time at friends’ and family’s homes, or time out on the town, you can take these steps to protect yourself and your personal information.

  1. eBank at home. Avoid logging in to secure accounts like online banking while you’re away from your secure home network. Not only can fraudsters sniff out your data, anyone can walk by and take a photo of your screen.

  2. Trust hotels, but not AirBnb or VRBO-type listings. Even though secure AirBnb and VRBO settings may seem like business networks, they are actually part of someone’s personal network. You never know what kind of monitoring they do on your information. It’s just not worth the risk. That said, you can usually trust secure networks at hotels. Hotels are regulated differently than tech companies like AirBnb and VRBO, and hotels can be held liable for security failures. Expect hotels to take your cyber-security seriously.

  3. Be selective. Only log in to the secure home networks of trusted friends and family using their secure Wi-Fi passwords. Many may even have “Guest” passwords to share with you. If they do, you’ll know they take their Wi-Fi security – and yours – to heart.

Does this mean you shouldn’t use public Wi-Fi? Nope. Public Wi-Fi is a cultural asset. It’s a great resource! …All we’re saying is be smart about the ways you use public Wi-Fi. Save your private transactions for your secure home network or another network you know you can absolutely trust.