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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

5 Things You Should Do Before You Connect to Public Wifi

Who can resist the urge to connect to free public Wi-Fi networks? I know many of you prefer using wifi as opposed to using up the data with your plan from your cellular provider. Also, many of you with mobile businesses need to access wifi to get stuff done. Free wifi is everywhere we go such as malls, restaurants, schools, hotels, airports, libraries, and coffee shops. It's free, but it doesn't mean that it is safe to use. When you connect to public Wi-Fi and send your personal information through websites and mobile apps, it can be accessed by cybercriminals who are waiting to pounce on the data you send out through an unprotected network. There are some free WiFi networks that have passwords on them. Don’t assume that since the network has a password, it has to be safe. This is your friendly reminder to let you know if you need to access public wireless networks, you need to make sure the information on your laptop, smartphone and tablet are safe by doing the following things.

1. Disable File Sharing. Sharing files is something many of your do when your sitting in your office or home office. It's great to be able to have a system where you can swap files with your family or co workers. When you're connected to public wifi, you need to have this feature turned off. Public WiFi is essentially a large computer network. If you have file sharing turned on everyone can have access to the files on your device. You should also turn off Windows and Macintosh network discovery. This feature allows your loved ones and co workers to see your computer to access your files, but not a good thing for public networks. Turning of this feature will prevent others from even seeing your device when you connect to a wireless network.<