Using Unsecured Networks Q&A with John Harte

We've got the answers to all your questions about using public Wi-Fi and unsecured networks.

All of us have used some sort of public Wi-Fi/network whether you needed to get some work done at the airport waiting for your flight, or had to connect your phone to Wi-Fi while you were out in public etc. But have you ever wondered what kind of risks can come with using unsecured networks? Well look no further because John, our Chief Information Officer, answered some of the most asked questions when it comes to using public networks!

What is an unsecured network?

An unknown or unsecured network would be any network that you yourself don’t control or your IT person that you pay doesn’t control. This could be in a coffee shop, airport and/or someone else’s house.

What can happen if I login to apps on someone else’s network?

Because you don’t control these networks, you don’t really know what’s going on behind the scenes. They could be stealing personal information, passwords, and even trying to access your local device that you’re using.

What kind of information can people see when using their networks?

Potentially people can see anything you are doing on an unsecured network. Depending on how it’s been designed and setup they can be monitoring your traffic, what you are typing into a document, or capturing passwords that you are entering in on online forms. 

What are the risks of using a public network?

Aside from stealing information there could also be a risk to your computer. There can be other devices that are knowingly or unknowingly spreading malware, and depending on your local systems settings like firewall, antivirus etc. those can potentially put your computer at risk as well.

How do you avoid public Wi-Fi security risks?

There are many things you can do to avoid these risks like making sure you are running antivirus on your machine, your firewall is turned on, and even a safer option would be using mobile data, so tethering into a rocket hub or your smartphone. 

What about using shared computers? 

Aside from unknown/unsecured networks, you also have to be cautious with using shared computers, for example a library or a school. You don’t know what can be running on these computers, there could be key loggers, malware or any other type of virus that can be capturing the data that you’re entering. These for the most part should be avoided, especially for accessing any of your personal or work information.

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