With Mardi Gras fast approaching, there will be a million people in New Orleans all looking for fun times, and good Internet connections. (Okay, maybe not all one million of them — but enough to keep you on your toes.) Using public WiFi safely during Mardi Gras will require using your common sense and following some basic rules.
1. Turn Off Wi-Fi When Not in Use
This is a must. Don’t stay connected to a network if you don’t need to. Turn off your Wi-Fi after completing your online activities. This is especially important when accessing public Wi-Fi. This includes your smartphone as well. Another plus? It will save your battery life.
2. Install Privacy-Protecting Browser Extensions
Secure your browser with tools designed to safeguard your privacy. Using antimalware only protects you from the items you download and execute. An adblocker like uBlock Origin can be customized to give you control over what you block, and when. Disconnect is another option to consider. This will protect you from same-network attacks like session hijacking and clickjacking. These have the potential to give cybercriminals access to things like your Facebook or Amazon accounts, even when you’re using a secure browser.
3. Use HTTPS Whenever Possible
You should only access sites that begin with HTTPS. This is a secure version of HTTP.
When you connect to secure sites, you can prevent people from looking at your communications and retrieving your confidential information.
4. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
The best way to bypass untrusted networks is to only access encrypted ones. This means using a VPN when you’re out and about. Using one makes sure that all your data is encrypted between you and the service provider, locking out anyone using the same network as you who might be snooping around.
5. Bring Your Own Wi-Fi Instead
The “best” protection? – Never use an untrusted network. Access your private mobile hotspot, tethering to your smartphone via your wireless carrier’s data. These options ensure your browsing remains private.
So, there you have it. These are the top 5 ways to safely use public Wi-Fi during Mardi Gras we came up with. Stay safe out there, and have fun!