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14 Tips for Public Wi-Fi Hotspot Security

Public Wi-Fi hotspots can be a hacker's haven. Following these basic security tips can mean the difference between secure surfing and ID theft or nightmare with data loss.

For the 2017 WLAN Risk Report, Symantec talked to thousands of adults who used public Wi-Fi hotspots in 15 countries around the world. One would think it would show people who are worried about their privacy and are afraid of identity theft, espionage and worse. Not correct.

Instead, it turned out that people are addicted to free Wi-Fi and do not think twice about connecting to a network they're most likely to be online with. When you use Wi-Fi in a hotel, on a plane, even in a restaurant or in a bar, deciding where to stay is crucial. Half said that the most important thing you can access is GPS information. And 40 percent said they used public Wi-Fi in hotels / rental apartments to view adult content – and I'm not talking about HBO GO. There are many people who do this in trains, buses, airports, at work and even in public toilets.

The worst of all (yes, it gets worse), while 60 percent agree that their information is safe to use Hotspots can not distinguish 53 percent of a secure network from an insecure one.

For many, public Wi-Fi hotspots are simply too practical to ignore. But that's risky behavior, especially because it's not so hard to take care of your safety. Some of the tips below are based on common sense. You can set up the rest before leaving the house or office. Make sure the next hotspot you connect to – be it in the café or in the sky – is not a nightmare of security waiting for you.

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