Three tips for using Wi-Fi in public places

When you want to check email in the coffee shop, the airport, or the hotel, how do you help protect yourself and your computer?

Three tips:

First of all, realize that someone may be watching your data go back and forth to the web sites you visit. Behave accordingly.

Second, know that when you visit a web site with an address that starts with HTTPS://, rather than HTTP:// without the S, the attack process becomes much more difficult. Using your bank web site is more secure than looking up nearby restaurants on yelp.com.

Third, accessing your email from a public place? It depends on how your IT professionals configured the connection. Not always, but usually accessing email is secure. Check with a qualified IT professional to be sure. If they use Outlook Web Access OWA or Outlook Anywhere, there are built-in mechanisms to help keep your data secure.

And, a bonus tip is to know that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to not use Wi-Fi at all. Instead, sign up for a data plan from ATT, Verizon, Sprint or other carrier. And, if you have tethering on your phone—guess what, the connection from the phone to your computer may very well be, you guessed it, Wi-Fi!

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