On a free public network or even at home, using public Wi-Fi means you’re potentially sharing your credit card numbers, passwords and other personal information with the world, leaving yourself vulnerable to criminals. With cybercrime costing Americans $800 million last year, the AARP Fraud Watch Network is urging you to Watch Your Wi-Fi. A new video from AARP highlights the risks.
How It Works: You connect to free public Wi-Fi at the gym, a hotel or maybe a coffee shop. The reality is that all the information you are transferring between your device and the computer you’re accessing is easily tapped into by anyone who is on the same network.
What you should do:
- Surf safely: stick to browsing the web, checking news, weather, or traffic when on public Wi-Fi
- Avoid online banking, checking emails, making credit card purchases or even posting on Facebook on public Wi-Fi
- Check your device’s settings to make sure it doesn’t automatically connect to any free public Wi-Fi that you’re in range of
Here’s a simple rule to surf by: don’t access or send sensitive information when you’re on free public Wi-Fi. If you find you use public Wi-Fi regularly, play it safe and sign up for a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that keeps your data secure. To learn about VPNs, check out this article from PC World: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2030763/how-and-why-to-set-up-a-vpn-today.html.