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Security tips in using public Wi-Fi hotspots

While it is convenient to check your emails, catch up on social networking or surf the web when you’re out and about, cybercriminals often spy on public Wi-Fi networks and intercept data that is transferred across the link. By doing so, they may be able to access users’ banking credentials, account passwords and other valuable information. Here are some useful tips from Kaspersky Lab’s team of Internet security experts: Be aware. Public Wi-Fi is inherently insecure — so be cautious. Remember — any device could be at risk. Laptops, smartphones and tablets are all susceptible to the wireless security risks. Treat all Wi-Fi links with suspicion. Never assume that the Wi-Fi link is legitimate as it could have been bogus and set up by a cyber criminal trying to capture valuable, personal information from unsuspecting users. Refrain from connecting to an unknown or unrecognized wireless access point. Verify the legitimacy of a wireless connection. Some bogus links have names that are deliberately similar to the coffee shop, hotel or venue that’s offering free Wi-Fi. Validate with an employee if possible. Use a VPN (virtual private network). Using a VPN when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network effectively uses a ‘private tunnel’ that encrypts all of your data that passes through the network. Avoid using specific types of website. Avoid logging into websites that require passwords or personal information such as social networking sites, online banking services or websites that store your credit card information. If you urgently need to access to these sites, it may be worthwhile accessing them via your mobile phone network instead. Protect your device against cyber attacks. Make sure all your devices are protected by a rigorous anti-malware and security solution, and ensure that it’s regularly updated.
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