Public wifi is a blessing in disguise.

Great to have it but then you are an open book.

Thankfully, most high profile wifi like Starbucks, McDonalds, Panera etc have some level of protection for consumers.   Unlike your home network where one can see everyone’s computer.   A lot of these established reputable places have “firewalled”  user to user.   Meaning one cannot readily get information traveling to and fro your system.

However, always being prudent and cautious.  Here is what I recommend when using public wifi.

  1. While on public wifi never log into any web services where it’s not https://
  2. Services like Gmail, Facebook and now Twitter offers SSL encrypted sessions.  Make sure they are turned ON before you log onto a public wifi.
  3. If you do use services like Facebook or Twitter or any other services you’re already have been logged onto.  If you used those services while on public wifi  logout while there.  That way your “session” doesn’t stay open and you have to log back in.   Evils who steal from you steals your session cookies which enables them to get onto your account without logging in.  But if you log out that session is no longer valid and must log back in.
  4. Tabs on your browser can be hazardous to your health.  If you put your computer to sleep with tabs open like to your email or Facebook.   Even if you don’t interact with that page.  Session information is still being passed to and fro your system which can be captured.  So if you’re not using them be sure to close those tabs.
  5. Double check what folders you’re sharing on your computer with the public.  By default some computers have the entire C drive shared to the open public.  Make sure you’re not sharing.  Right click on your C: drive and go down to Share with..  make sure nothing is sharing.
Must be cautious and consider everyone guilty.
– Robert “Resident Nurdologist