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7 tips for working securely from wireless hotspots

7 tips for working securely from wireless hotspots

7th in a series of 10 Tips


1. Try to choose more secure connections
Before connecting to a wireless network make sure that it asks for a password when connecting.
If you do not need a password that network is not secure and others could be able to see your computer.
You should use the strongest encryption that is compatible with your network. If your home network is compatible with WPA2 encryption, that should be your first choice. WPA2 provides the strongest protection among the three commonly-used encryptions. WPA should be your second choice if you have incompatibility issues with WPA2. WEP should be used if neither of the WPA encryption standards can be used.

2. Make sure your firewall is activated
Most paid for anti-virus programmes use their own firewalls but Windows built in firewall turns itself on if it does not detect an alternative.
Check to make sure that your firewall is turned on in control panel, If it sais monitored by your anti-virus programme check that programme to ensure it is running.
If not and Windows states it is turned off turn it on immediately.
Some routers also contain their own firewalls.

3. Monitor your access points
If using access points or repeaters make sure that the security is turned on and if not re-programme immediately to make them secure.
Anyone using one that has no security is at risk of being hacked.

4. Disable file and printer sharing
If you have a stand alone PC and your printer is connected by USB you can change your Wi-Fi settings to do not share.
This will ensure that no one can get on to your PC.
This is particularly important when using an internet café and do not want others to see your PC.

5. Make your folders private
Right click on the folder, select Share with and then choose Nobody. To choose select people, select the Specific people option. From the File Sharing box which opens, you can choose the users.
Windows 7 will offer the Homegroup option, whereas you will not see it in Windows 8/10.
Once you make the file or folder private, a padlock overlay icon will appear.
You can also buy software that will add encryption to your private folders.

6. Encrypt your files
Right-click the folder or file you want to encrypt, and then click Properties.
Click the General tab, and then click Advanced.
Select the Encrypt contents to secure data check box, click OK, and then click OK again.
If you want added security then there are several programmes available that will once installed provide advanced data and file encryption for Windows.

7. Consider completely removing sensitive data from your notebook PC
If you are worried about losing sensitive data then this should be kept on your PC at home or in the office.
Taking it around with you on a notebook increases the risk of that data being accessed whilst out and about.