If you think public WiFi is too good to be true, that’s because it is. When connected to public WiFi, hackers can easily access sensitive information on your devices. What does this mean for you? Identity theft, drained bank accounts and destroyed devices. More than 600 million people have been victims to cyber-crime, don’t become one of them. Here are the do’s and don’ts of connecting to public WiFi.


Do you feel tempted to connect to free WiFi networks? Americans are three times more likely to connect to WiFi if it’s free. But ask yourself – who’s really overseeing open networks? Although hotels and airports offer free WiFi, no one is monitoring the network activity. This means that hackers can remotely install malware on your device and steal sensitive information without anyone policing their actions. Be aware that many devices are set to auto-connect to WiFi by default. Disable these settings to avoid keep hackers from accessing your information.

When asked about potential risks of using public WiFi, 88% of Americans mentioned compromised information. Still, 39% accessed or sent sensitive information while using public WiFi. Why is that? Sure, it’s convenient to pay your bills while waiting to board your flight. But, someone nearby could be collecting your information through the unsecured network you’re on. Unless logged into a secure home network, don’t access sensitive information on your devices. Take the proper steps to protect your information now so you don’t have to pay for it in the future.


How can you use safely use the internet in public? A simple first step is to only access sites that start with “https”. The “s” stands for “secured” and lets you know the site has been verified and is safe to access. You’ll notice this on sites where you might enter personal information like PayPal and Amazon. These sites are encrypted, meaning the information you enter is translated into a “secret code” that is unrecognizable to others – including hackers. One letter can make or break your security.

If you work remote or often use WiFi outside of your home, consider a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a secure, encrypted network that creates a safe tunnel between your computer and network. This means that information you access on your computer is invisible to anyone outside the network. Many companies require remote employees to use their VPN when working outside the office. If they’re using it, so should you. Take the same precaution when accessing your own information.

The best action you can take in protecting your devices is to use a home internet connection. Not all internet services were created equal so make sure yours offers protection from viruses and malware. Services like the Cox Security Suite can protect up to five devices of any combination. This means your phone, tablet, and laptop can all be safeguarded from attack. Cox’s features defend against viruses and spyware and protect your data. If your device gets hacked, Cox lets you wipe it clean so that a minimal amount of information is stolen. Best of all, this security package is free for all Cox High Speed Internet customers so you can get the protection you need without breaking the bank.

A little goes a long way, especially when protecting your devices. Take the precautionary measures you need to keep your identity, finances, and information safe whether at home or on-the-go.