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Is it safe to connect to public Wi-Fi when traveling?

Posted at 10:09 AM, Jul 12, 2022

NORFOLK, Va., - Airports are packed these days. Flights are being cancelled and delayed and when that happens, it can feel like you're stuck.

A lot of people will use their phones or devices to scroll through social media or stream a movie, but turning to public Wi-Fi for your connection may not be the best idea.

Cyber experts said it opens you and your data up to criminals. While most users know to be careful when using a free hotspot, like when you're at the airport or on the plane itself, experts said it can create a bit of false security.

They said even if there is a password involved, it's likely not to protect you but rather to limit usage.

Consider the fact that locations like coffee shops, airports and hotel lobby's are extremely public and what you do on those networks might be accessible by other people.

To keep your passwords and bank accounts safe, you can use your cell phone data.

Other options include:

  • Confirming the name of a location's hotspot with the people who work there
  • Disable feature on your device that automatically connect to a network within range
  • Don't connect to Ad hoc networks because you can't tell if they're secure
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows you to have a secure network within a Wi-Fi connection