How to protect yourself in public WiFi networks: tips and tricks

In a hotel, an airport or a station, it is common for these sites that let's connect to public WiFi networks from our Android smartphone or with other devices. It is an option that has many advantages, such as avoiding consuming mobile data of our rate, but it also has certain risks since a public network does not have the protection that a private network offers.

Every time we connect to public WiFi networks you have to take a series of precautions. Thanks to them we will avoid security problems or that affect our privacy. These are simple aspects, but they can help us to better use these types of connections.

Are public WiFi networks really dangerous?

Because a WiFi network is public does not automatically mean that it becomes a danger to us users. It is true that they tend to be more vulnerable to certain attacks or problems, so they make us have to use them more cautiously, but this does not mean that we should refrain from connecting to these networks: we should only do so more carefully to avoid possible problems that may arise.

This type of networks can be used to distribute malware, intercept user data and even capture bank passwords and access to applications. The fact that it is a public network, and freely accessible, is a very sweet hook for those who need a connection. The problems may be greater if that connection is not encrypted.

In the past there have been serious problems in this type of public WiFi networks, although it seems that these types of attacks or problems have diminished. This does not mean you have to stop taking precautions.

Access only pages on HTTPS

Browsers like Google Chrome already warn us about those pages that are not secure, but it’s good that let's always use web pages that use HTTPS. These types of pages make use of the SSL / TLS security protocol to encrypt the data, so they are the safest option when we are browsing the Internet. Most pages currently use this protocol.

If at any given time you need to access unsecured pages using public WiFi, it is best to avoid it. This type of pages makes it a lot easier for the attacker to intercept the data. The combination of public WiFi network and a web in HTTP makes us doubly exposed.

Do not enter sensitive data

Something of common sense, but that we often forget. When we are connected to public WiFi networks we must be very careful with the data we enter. Uploading a photo to a social network or sending it to WhatsApp to someone is not something excessively dangerous, but enter a password or account number Yes it can be.

Sensitive data should only be entered when we are connected to a secure access point, not while using public WiFi networks. The best is avoid logins and refrain from entering tricky data such as passwords or account numbers. It is a gesture of common sense that can save us many dislikes.

VPN connection

More and more users on Android use a VPN to surf the Internet in a secure and private way. The use of a VPN is more recommended than ever while using public WiFi networks; avoiding in this way the exposure to which we are subjected when using them. It is an additional protection, at least while using a VPN that is secure and private.

In many cases, These types of applications are paid, but it is something we can get a lot out of on the phone; especially if, for travel purposes, we are using public WiFi networks with certain frequency in places such as airports or hotels. It is best to check the payment plan of each VPN and see which one is more interesting for us.

Disable WiFi when we are not using it

A basic mistake that many users make is leave Wi-Fi enabled on your Android phone when they are away from home It is advisable to turn it off: to prevent us from automatically connecting to insecure networks already memorized and also for battery saving.

When using public WiFi connections it is better to activate WiFi only when you want to use the network. Once the use is finished, and we no longer want to be connected, it is best to disable WiFi on the phone. We usually forget this, but we must try to make it a custom while using public WiFi networks.

Delete public WiFi networks from the connection list

When we use a specific WiFi network in a hotel or station it is likely that we will not connect to it, especially after returning from travel. Once this connection has been used, and it will not be used anymore, many experts recommend remove it from the list of networks memorized It is an additional precautionary measure.

Android usually stores all the WiFi networks we have connected to In addition to your passwords. It is advisable to clean from time to time and remove from that list all those connections that we will never use again.

The possibility of removing old WiFis is found in the phone settings. All Android phones give us this option, you just have to do the following:

  • Open the settings.
  • Enter the WiFi section.
  • Go to the settings / Menu in that section.
  • Saved networks
  • Eliminate those public WiFi networks that we will not use anymore.