(WHTM) — Many public wi-fi networks do not have strong security. That makes it easy for tech-savvy scammers to take advantage.
AARP says these are the warning signs:
- The public wi-fi network lets you log in without using a password
- The network has a generic founding name. For example: “free public wi-fi”.
- You are asked to pay for the connection.
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Here is what you should do:
- Ask the staff at the business the exact name of its network
- Be careful what you do on public networks. It is usually okay to browse the web and check the news or the weather.
- Consider tethering your laptop to your phone and using your mobile provider’s data network instead of public wifi. You may incur charges, but you will be more secure.
- Turn off wi-fi and Bluetooth when you are not using them
- Use antivirus software and keep it up to date.
- Consider signing up for a virtual private network, or VPN. It will encrypt your data, even on unsecured wi-fi networks.
Here is what you shouldn’t do on public wi-fi networks:
- Don’t use public wi-fi to do online banking, make purchases, check email or use social media.
- Don’t go to sites where you have to enter a username or password.
- Don’t allow your device automatically connect to any available wi-fi network. You can check the network settings to make sure the function is turned off.
Also, once you are finished using online accounts, you should always log out of them.
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