With the cost of international phone calls these days it is no wonder that many more of us are taking advantage of the many wi-fi hotspots that are now available all over the world. These can be found in hotels, airports, malls and even in fast food restaurants and whilst incredibly handy, there are still many considerations that need to be made to make sure that our private information and accounts are kept safe.
Many see the smartphone or tablet as a different entity to a computer. They will make sure they have the best security on their PC but believe that their smartphone is invulnerable. This is far from the truth and the same caution should be shown on any device that connects to the internet.
Take a look at what you can do to minimize the chances of someone being able to get access to your bank accounts, social media accounts, gaming accounts and any other form of private information.
Get Good Security For Your Phone
Firstly, never leave your wireless connection open if you are no longer using it. Also, many people do not realise that much like a normal computer, their smartphones and tablets are vulnerable to malicious software, so make sure that you have high level mobile security installed on them such as Norton.
Mix Up Your Passwords
You may have heard this a million times but you really should adhere to it. Your passwords need to be as difficult as possible to hack which means including numbers and capital letters. You should always have a different password for each account that you have because if they hack one, they have hacked all if you use the same password. Make use of a password manager such as LastPass if you have trouble memorising all of them.
Make Sure The Network You Are Connected To Is Completely Legit
Just because you know you are sat in a wi-fi hotspot does not mean that the network you are connecting to is the one that you are meant to. Many scammers and hackers set up fake names on their unencrypted networks to dupe people into using it. This then leads to your information, passwords and accounts all being compromised. So always make sure to check with a hotel manager which is the correct network before connecting.
Never Do Internet Banking On Any Wi-fi network that You Do Not Pay For
We have always been cautious to not access any bank accounts using computers in internet cafes but with smartphones you cannot even trust the network that you are using. This includes those found in public places and hotels, as you do not know who is monitoring you and can discover your passwords.
If you live abroad or are on an extended stay and have your own contract with an internet provider, this is the only time you should ever consider accessing your bank.
With this information you should be able to shake off that thought process of believing that your smartphone is invincible to the same sort of attacks that your PC is. It should also enable you to now surf in caution and make you think about what accounts you may access when and where. It has been claimed that one in ten people had a social media account hacked in 2012, a number which grew to one in six just last year, do not become a victim in this ever increasing problem.