The Dos and Don’ts of using free public Wi-Fi
Numerous areas in and around Kampala provide public Wi-Fi. Such areas include hotels, clubs, schools, banks, etc. There are two different types of public Wi-Fi — that which is secure and requires a user to log in; and that which connects without requesting any credentials. Regardless of which kind that is available to you, all should be used with caution.
The Government of Uganda provides its free Wi-Fi in some areas in Kampala. This “MyUG” is accessible to anyone who agrees to the terms and conditions and signs up for an account. Such a network that is accessible to a large number of users can be a target of hackers who could end up accessing your information. Here’s how you can use this internet without risking attacks.
Consider using a Virtual Private Network: A VPN is an application that conceals your device’s information and hides it from other users on the Wi-Fi network. It does so by encrypting all the data you send and receive.
Keep your antivirus program up to date and running: This will protect you from any malware that is shared on public networks that could end up getting into your phone. The antivirus might help detect it before it’s too late.
Don’t leave your Wi-Fi on when it’s not in use: This will prevent your device from automatically logging into unsecured networks that might share your data with hackers.
Turn off sharing: Whenever you use your laptop or device on a new Wi-Fi network, you are always asked if your device should allow sharing with other devices on the networks. Always endeavor to keep the sharing option turned off to keep your files and other information away from unwanted users.
Turn off automatic connectivity: Automatic connectivity allows your device to connect to the network anytime time even when you aren’t using the device. This puts your device in the hands of hackers on the network.
Don’t shop online while connected to public networks: Shopping online requires sharing personal information like bank account information, or login credentials that should never be shared on public networks. You can never be sure who you are sending your details to.
Be aware of the sites you visit and avoid logging into banking sites or social networks when a public network is connected.
The above are just a few basic precautions one can take to prevent getting attacked online. However, hackers are always coming up with numerous techniques that lure users into the traps they set. No amount of precaution can be considered secure enough. Your device can get attacked the minute you click to open a link you received. As such, users should always keep alert and pay keen attention.
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