Free Wi-Fi – well, that’s the new norm these days. Authorities of a large number of cities are moving towards this. They are setting up infrastructure to provide the citizens with free Wi-Fi. People also like to avail of this Wi-Fi free of cost. This surely is one of the best ways to remain connected with the world without spending anything. The free public Wi-Fi, however, is not without its own sets of negative aspects. And one of the major ones among them is surely the potential security risk, which is associated with it. So, it’s essential to remain alert while you are planning to use free public Wi-Fi offered by your city authorities. Did you know? Almost 50% of the internet traffic around the world comes through Wi-Fi? Each person using Wi-Fi has almost three or more devices connected to the network. This certainly increases the chance of hacking significantly. This is because, unsecure public Wi-Fi hotspots may cause data theft. So, one day you might find some important data that you had entered online through the free Wi-Fi network lost or hacked by others. This can be a major issue if this data includes your bank account details or information of your credit or debit cards. Hence, it is important that you find ways to stop data stealing over the public Wi-Fi network. Here’s a quick look at some of the steps that you might undertake to keep yourself safe even when using public Wi-Fi. #1. Create a VPN to Enhance Security Did you know that even when you are using public Wi-Fi, you can still create a private network virtually? This is known as a Virtual Private Network or VPN. It ensures that even when you are using a public network, you can set your security to private through a VPN. There are quite a few companies offering VPN services. Many of them even provide the users with free VPN services. VPN offers multiple advantages. However, if you are planning to go for a VPN service, it’s better you select a paid one. These usually offer better and more secure services, thus ensuring that no data theft occurs. #2. Do Not Connect Automatically to Any Available Wi-Fi Network One of the major features of Wi-Fi includes connecting to the free and available network automatically. This ensures that you can use the internet whenever there is an opportunity. However, this can have negative aspects as well. While automatically connecting to any available Wi-Fi network, you might connect to some malicious network. This can have numerous harmful outcomes and one of them is data theft from your device. #3. Try to Recognize Fake Networks Offering Free Wi-Fi One of the most common ways of hacking through Wi-Fi is by the use of fake usernames. Well, that’s what most of the hackers do. For example, a company named Stalemate might offer free Wi-Fi, but the chance is minimal that it will be named as Free Stalemate Wi-Fi or in some similar way. So, it is essential that you keep an eye on the name of the Wi-Fi network before you connect to it. It won’t be a difficult process to understand whether it is a fake one or an authentic connection. #4. Turn Off the Network When Not in Use When you are using Wi-Fi, there is a common tendency to keep the network in an open mode almost all the while. This can be a major issue at times. This provides the hackers with the chance of connecting to your network and stealing your data. However, this is not possible if you turn off your network or the Wi-Fi device when not in use. This reduces the time for which the hackers can access the network, thus decreasing the chance of hacking. #5. Keep the Basics Right Having a good firewall running on your system is one of the basic things that you might do to keep the hackers at bay. Besides, it is also quite obvious that you will need to select a properly planned password. It should be chosen in such a way that the hackers find it difficult to know the password even if they have entered your network. Public Wi-Fi offers a wide range of advantages to the users. Yet, when you are using it, your network runs the risk of getting hacked. Hence, you need to follow these processes to keep your data safe and secure. Images: ”security wifi. internet concept/ Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.