- Man pleads guilty but mentally ill in 2013 murder
- Telephone, computer network outages at 22 Rockford schools
- Byron native selected as Sailor of the Year for Navy Band Southwest
- Illinois Tollway awards $337 million in contracts, sets budget
- 44 earn bachelor’s degrees at Saint Anthony College of Nursing
- Goodwill opens Donation Express site on Perryville
- Rock Valley College to manage TechWorks program
- University of Illinois at Chicago names chancellor
- Salvation Army to distribute food, toys to nearly 2,000 families
- American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act signed into law
Tech-Friendly: Public Wi-Fi hotspot security basics
By Paul Gorski
Last week, I wrote about home Wi-Fi security (see link at end of article), so thought I’d wrap up my Wi-Fi security discussion by warning you not to use public Wi-Fi hotspots for sensitive Internet transactions.
Some public Wi-Fi hotspots, or connection points, are secure, but many are not. You’ll find public Wi-Fi hotspots in public buildings, restaurants, bars and more. Assume most public Wi-Fi hotspots are not secure. Better safe than sorry.
Before you use public Wi-Fi, make sure your computer OS, browser and security software packages are up-to-date. Enable your computer’s security firewall.
Disable the “sharing” of files and folders on your computer. I would also disable the saving of passwords in your browser.
Avoid performing banking, stock trading or other sensitive financial transactions while using public Wi-Fi. Wait until you know you are using a secure connection.
Even when checking e-mail via a browser, try to use a secure browser connection. Many e-mail services allow you to connect via “http” or “https” (secure). Choose the “https” secure method, when possible, for any e-mail or data-sharing connection.
I can’t say strongly enough: avoid conducting sensitive financial transactions while using public Wi-Fi and use secure browser connections, “https,” whenever possible.
My original Wi-Fi security article, “Tech-Friendly: Home Wi-Fi security — basics plus a bit more,” is at http://rockrivertimes.com/2013/10/02/tech-friendly-home-wi-fi-security-%E2%80%94-basics-plus-a-bit-more/. You will find additional links to other computer security articles at the end of that column.
Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.
From the Oct. 9-15, 2013, issue