How to Use Public Wi-Fi Safely

Summer holidays are right around the corner alongside the return of EU data roaming charges. It’s tempting to use the public Wi-Fi on offer to save a bit of cash. While public Wi-Fi is often free to use, you may unwittingly allow easy access to your personal data.

Here are our top tips for using public Wi-Fi to keep your scrolling safe. 

Use HTTPS Sites

When using public Wi-Fi try to use sites that display https in their URL. Having an https certificate signals that the site is safe. It doesn’t mean that sites not using https aren’t reliable, but it’s wise to browse on them when your network is secure. 

Stay Alert to Warnings

Many browsers will display a warning message about a potentially dangerous site or software. They will try to block you from gaining access. Don’t ignore these messages! 

Make sure your browser and security software is up to date to ensure your mobile device can spot any new potential threats. 

Install a VPN

Whether you’re exploring Europe or enjoying a staycation, using a VPN connection is a great way to stay secure when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Virtual private networks (VPNs) hide your IP address making it virtually impossible to steal your personal data. 

Use Mobile Data

With around 53.58 million smartphone users in the UK, people who use public Wi-Fi are easy targets for cybercriminals. Reduce your risk by using your mobile data. 4G and 5G encrypt data, making it much safer than using public Wi-Fi. 

Steer Clear of Banking Apps

It can be tempting to check your balance if you’re about to make a big purchase. But avoid accessing personal or financial information when you’re connected to public networks. It’s better to assume it isn’t secure than face the worry of having your identity stolen and your funds drained. 

Avoid Connecting Automatically

Connecting automatically to your home or work Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient. The same is not the case for connecting automatically to public Wi-Fi networks. Check your device’s setting to make sure the ‘automatic connection’ isn’t on. 

Use Different Passwords

Regardless of whether you use public Wi-Fi networks or not, you should have different passwords for different websites. Should you get hacked with a password breach, you’ll limit the potential damage. You’ll also only have to change one password instead of hundreds!


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