Free public Wi-Fi hot spots are virtually everywhere you go: at the local coffee house, the airport, hotels, the public library, the shopping mall, and so on. You can even connect to public Wi-Fi at some parks and pedestrian areas. While convenient for both you and your employees, public Wi-Fi is not necessarily secure.
Just as you can easily join a public network when out and about, so can everyone else — including hackers. When on the public network, your device is easily discovered by others. What’s more, these networks do not encrypt data, and who knows what, if any, network security measures are in place?
Since you can’t rely on the rest of the world secure their networks to your standards, you’ll need to take measures into your own hands and secure your business’s mobile devices accordingly. After all, your employees need Internet access when on business trips or working remotely.
Below are a few simple steps that you can take to secure your devices when using public Wi-Fi.
– Turn off automatic connections — Did you know that some mobile devices are configured to automatically connect to any available wireless network? Though convenient, this puts your devices and data at risk. Imagine how many unsecured networks a single device connects to on a daily basis as the user moves from one location to the next. Combat this threat by disabling automatic network connections on all of your business devices and teach your employees how to choose and connect to safe mobile networks.
– Allow only secure connections — Connecting to a secured network is certainly less convenient for your employees, but it’s also much smarter from a data security point of view. Make sure that your employees know to confirm the network’s name and connection process to ensure that they’re truly connecting to the secured network and not a spoofed one setup by a hacker.
– Use mobile security software — Whether using a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone, computer security software is a must — especially when using a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Security software can recognize and block potential threats before harm is done. Use security software that incorporates various technologies including antivirus, web blocking, and spam filtering. Our Unified Threat Management solution is the perfect choice for securing your devices both on your own network and off it.
– Set up and use a virtual private network (VPN) — Virtual private networks are built with security in mind. These secured networks are accessed over the Internet and available only to authorized users. Combine VPN access with security awareness training and computer security software and you will be several steps ahead of any hacker trolling for easy Wi-Fi prey.
Quikteks offers a number of managed IT services and network security solutions designed to keep your business data safe and secure. To learn more about our managed maintenance services, VPN solution, or our Unified Threat Management platform, give us a call at (973) 882-4644.