Stay Smart Online Week 2018

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Stay Smart Online Week 2018

It’s Stay Smart Online Week 8 to 14 October 2018 in Australia. Each year, Stay Smart Online hosts an awareness week to empower people, business and the community to protect themselves online. Our new ‘Reverse the Threat’ campaign is designed to mobilise a movement against cybercrime with our partners and the wider community.

Tip: Public Wi-Fi isn’t always safe. Without the right protection your private information could become public. Get smart about using public Wi-Fi.

Stay smart online week 2018 banner

What is public Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is a way to wirelessly connect to the internet. Some places, like cafés, libraries, hotels, airports and even phone booths offer public Wi-Fi where anyone can connect their smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Public Wi-Fi hotspots are convenient but can be risky. It's easy for the information being sent between your device and the public Wi-Fi network to be intercepted. 

Cybercriminals have also been known to set up rogue Wi-Fi hotspots with names that look like a legitimate network. Cybercriminals use these networks to get their hands on your banking credentials, account passwords, and other valuable information.

How to stay safe when using public Wi-Fi

Be careful about what you do online when you’re using a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Here are some tips to help keep your information safe:

  • Confirm the 'official' hotspot name from venue staff and manually connect your device to it. Don’t let your device automatically connect to the first hotspot in its list
  • Check the privacy and security details of the public Wi-Fi before agreeing to the terms of use. Check to see what data will be collected about you and how it will be used
  • Don't do your online banking or shopping, send confidential emails or enter your passwords or credit card details on public Wi-Fi. Wait until you’re using a secure home, office or mobile connection
  • When you are using websites while on public Wi-Fi, make sure the websites are secure. Always look for a https (‘s’ stands for secure) in the website address and a padlock on the web browser
  • Turn off file sharing. If you have file sharing turned on and you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, your files could be accessed by others using the same hotspot
  • Install a reputable Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your device. When enabled, this boosts security by creating an encrypted ‘tunnel’ for your information to pass securely through public Wi-Fi networks
  • Turn on your firewall and virus scanner. Firewalls are designed to prevent unauthorised access. Be sure to check your device and turn on its firewall (if applicable)
  • Always remember to disconnect from the hotspot after you’ve finished using it
  • Consider using the mobile data on your phone instead. If you're using a laptop or tablet without mobile data, try setting up your phone as personal hotspot with a strong password.

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