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Staying Safe on Public Wi-Fi: 6 Tips for Small Business Owners

By Shaun Killian


As a small business owner, staying connected is crucial, especially when you’re on the go. But hackers installing malware on your laptop or other devices is a common way that get into your website and often your customer data.

Public Wi-Fi hotspots, located in cafes and airports, provide convenient internet access for business owners. But, with convenience comes risk.

Here’s what you need to know to keep your business data secure while using public Wi-Fi.

1. Avoid Accessing Public Wi-Fi if Possible

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. So, the best way to keep hackers from your laptop is to avoid using public wi-fi altogether.

If possible, use a hotspot on your phone instead.

But if that isn’t possible, follow the remaining tips.

2. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing public wi-fi to add an extra layer of security to your online activities.

A VPN encrypts your internet connection, making it difficult for cybercriminals to intercept your data.

Most third-party security software includes a VPN within its offerings, including Norton and Bitdefender. Personally, I love Bitdefender.

3. Verify the Hotspot

Before connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, ensure it’s legitimate. Cybercriminals can set up fake hotspots to intercept your data.

Confirm the hotspot’s name with staff or signage, and avoid auto-connect features on your device.

4. Use Public Wi-Fi with a Password

Some public wi-fi networks let you access them without a password. Avoid these.

Opt for hotspots that require a password whenever possible, and always ‘forget’ the network after use to prevent automatic reconnection.

5. Disable File Sharing

Disable file sharing on your device to prevent unauthorized access to your files. By disabling file sharing, you minimize the risk of compromising your business data.

If you select the ‘public’ network option when prompted, it should disable file sharing automatically.

6. Secure Web Browsing

Ensure you visit secure websites by checking for ‘HTTPS://’ and the lock symbol in your browser’s address bar. If your browser warns of potential risks, disconnect immediately.

Prioritise security and safeguard your sensitive data from prying eyes.

shaun killian (aka the WP Wheelie) profile

Shaun Killian (aka the WP Wheelie) has been working with WordPress since 2007.

I'm here to help you with your WordPress website.

I call myself the WordPress Wheelie (WP Wheelie) because I am:

An expert in WordPress.

Confined to a wheelchair (no legs).

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