Surf Securely, Wherever You May Be…

Surf Securely, Wherever You May Be…
There has always been an interesting paradox in the expansion of technology.  The ability to access the internet in public “hotspots” via Wi-Fi connections is incredibly convenient.  However, there are several issues that can arise, leaving you vulnerable to cyber-attacks that can compromise your online security and result in the loss of sensitive information to hackers or other online criminals.  And, while you may believe that you are not using any sensitive websites while “surfing” in public, remember that simply accessing your computer can be enough.  Remember that most of your information is saved in either online databases or on your computer itself, and all most of these hackers need is a small window to tap into your connection.  From that point, the rest of their job is simple:  compile your information and begin using it to their advantage.

Data Is Everything
We are often told that we are now living in the “Information Age”, and because the sharing and protection of information is paramount, there are several things that Wi-Fi users must consider.  For example, your IP address is an important element that should always be protected.  When a hacker “sniffs” your connection on a public network, they can pinpoint your exact location, giving them even more information than anticipated.  This is especially important in countries where internet regulations are strict and censorship runs rampant.  Learning how to protect your privacy can be the difference between secure connections and experiencing situations such as identity theft.

Other Risks
There are programs being used with alarming frequency that leave many public hotspot users at risk.  For example, were you aware that specific plug-ins can grant access to any computer that is on a given network?  This means that any password you enter, while using a public Wi-Fi connection, can be seen by others on the network.  This is a security risk that simply cannot be ignored!

Understanding VPN Protection
You do have options, however, despite all of the negative information being tossed around regarding hackers and IP address lifting.  A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, can grant you secure access to the internet by creating a private link from your Wi-Fi location.  Using a public connection, yet protecting it by authenticating the access and using industry-leading firewalls, users can visit sites that may be blocked and ensure that prying eyes cannot see the passwords they enter or the information they maintain.  By using one of these services, we can protect ourselves from online criminals and keep our sensitive information safe and sound.