Is it safe to use free Wi-Fi?

  • Out and about and in need of the 'net?
  • Can't access your own Wi-Fi - or simply just don't want to?
  • Read on to see how safe that is...

It's very common for people to want to save phone data by connecting to a cheeky bit of free public Wi-Fi. But is it safe to do so? Well, in a word: no. The Australian Government stresses there is always a strong danger of getting hacked when using public Wi-Fi, and they strongly recommend you avoid doing it, at least when you are partaking in sensitive transactions such as banking. But if you simply INSIST on using free Wi-Fi, there are some safety measures that you can take to stay on the safe side...

free wi-fi at airport

MAKE SURE YOUR PASSWORDS ARE STRONG 

Avoid birthdays, family names, and pretty much any information that someone could easily find out about you. Assuming you'll be able to keep remembering it, try to make sure your password is as random as possible. 

is it safe to use free wi-fi?

USE WI-FI THAT YOU CAN TRUST 

Any cafe public wi-fi is a hazard, but you're even more at risk if you're trying to leech some free Wi-Fi from a network you don't recognize. Don't do it. Could be a trap. 

girl on phone using wifi

UPDATE SOFTWARE 

Software update can be a valuable security measure than save your fat from the hacker & malware fires. Strengthening security weaknesses is one the primary reasons for those constant security updates. 

Girl using wi-fi hotspot

TURN OFF YOUR LOCATION 

Most smart phones, and indeed, most social media apps on those smart phones, will be tracking and possibly posting your location, and you may not even know it. Make sure this setting is switched to "OFF". 

woman using free Wi-Fi

USE VPN 

Not only does VPN Encryption encrypt your data, but it also secure the means through which that data was transmitted in the first place. Do it if you can. 

Woman on rub on internet

BONUS TIP

If your own Wi-Fi is shoddy, it may simply be because you're not on the best plan for your area. Thankfully, that's very easy to fix - all you have to do is click through! And if you want to keep updated on all other things broadband, well why not follow us on Facebook?