As you are about to sip your coffee in a local coffee shop while on holiday, remember public Wi-Fi networks are free and convenient, but notorious places for getting your data, credentials and traffic hacked. Although it’s better not to use them at all for business traffic, here’s some pointers for keeping safe if you do.
Check the Wi-Fi network. Double check that you connect to the network you intend to connect with. There are a number of reputable providers, but also lots of “spoof” networks whose mission in life is to steal your data.
Connect to HTTPS websites. HTTPS encrypts the traffic between you and the website you are browsing. Look for “HTTPS” in the address bar of your browser – some browsers show a padlock. But its not foolproof as the bad guys have often set up spoof sites (such as paywil.com) “protected” with an HTTPS certificate.
Use two factor authentication. 2FA means your identity is confirmed by sending a code to a different device – usually your mobile. This makes it very difficult for would be thieves to crack into your accounts. Most reputable business applications now support 2FA.
Use a 4G hotspot. By using your mobile phone as a hotspot you protect your traffic from outside interception. Remember roaming in Europe is covered under your existing mobile plan – for the moment!
Use a VPN. VPNs or virtual private networks are another way to encrypt your traffic making it difficult for others to decipher what you are sending. It also can give you access to British content while you are overseas – such as BBC iPlayer and Sky Sports! VPNs are available from many different providers, including ourselves.