There are a lot of Wi-Fi hot spots in the world over. With the production of mobile devices that are Wi-Fi capable, more and more establishments are offering Wi-Fi capabilities to their clients. Some charge a minimal fee for the services being used while others offer the services for free. The mere idea of free public internet has made a lot of computer savvy individuals happy. But hackers are ecstatic about it.
Using your laptop on a Wi-Fi hot spot zone can make you vulnerable to identity theft. Hackers can access the wireless network and be able to view what everyone (that is connected to the network) is doing. This simply means that if you are making mobile banking transactions, hackers can view your personal information and use it for their own advantage.
However, there are steps that you can take to make your computer hack-proof even if you connect your mobile device on free public Wi-Fi access points.
Do not forget to turn on your firewall or install one if you don’t have it in your computer system. Whenever you use your laptop and PDA on the road, especially in Wi-Fi hot spots, you have to ensure that you turn on your firewall software. You have to know that, typically, hot spots are not very secure access points and no one will take the responsibility for your security.
Turn off your Wi-Fi Ad-hoc Mode. Do not allow access point networks that you have not created to automatically connect to your mobile device. You only have to connect to network connections that you have created yourself or approved of. Wi-Fi signals tend to overlap especially if establishments offering this type of services sit near to each other. When you open your mobile gear, you may pick up network signals that you might not want to access or even allow access. You will never know which Wi-Fi network is secure thus it is important you disable ad-hoc mode before you connect to any hot spot.
If your company offers a mobile network, then you have to use your company VPN. This would ensure additional security for your device and personal information. Again, working in hot spots can increase the risk of you being exposed to identity theft and your data and personal information can be compromised.