Accessibility mode is enabled

Skip to Top / Tab to View Menu Options
Skip to Left Navigation / Tab to View Content

Your WiFi IT-Security while on vacation

How often have we been stuck in an airport, or on vacation, and decided to take advantage of the public Wi-Fi network? Do you choose restaurants or cafes based on their free Wi-Fi? Now, answer this: What do you do on your smartphone or laptop when you connect? It doesn’t matter if you connect to Wi-Fi at an airport, hotel room, or even the nearest Starbucks, is important to remember public WiFi can be breeding grounds for malicious activities.

Three of common avenues of attack to worry about while on public Wi-Fi: man-in-the-middle attacks, malware, and Wi-Fi sniffing.

  • Man in the middle is when the bad guy pretends to be a safe connection and routes all your activities through them in order to steal passwords and other valuable information.
  • Malware is a malicious program that can either steal your data or destroy your computer.
  • WiFi Sniffing or “snooping” is when a bad guy looks for devices that have open connections and attempt to connect to your devices.

So, by now you’re probably asking, “How can I can protect myself when I’m on public WiFi?” Here are a few do’s and don’ts for when you are on public WiFi.

The Do’s

  • YouTube / Netflix videos
  • Web Browsing
  • E-books
  • Games
  • Only login to websites when absolutely needed with the HTTPS: as part of the URL.

The Don’ts

  • Do not do any banking or financial activities
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Torrents
  • Don’t stay logged in to an account. When done, be sure to logout.
  • Don’t use the same password for all your accounts.
  • Don’t connect to any public WiFi. Make sure to select known public WiFi locations.

Remember, using public WiFi is not always safe, but following the tips above will reduce your exposure to data and account loss. If you have questions, or wish to know more, please email the iso@cityofsacramento.org.

This is an IT Security Safety News Letter from the city’s Information Security Officer.

AC 2016. Volume 1 Issue 1