No body wants to use their 3G or 4G data when they are abroad on holiday as the mobile companies take great pleasure in charging the earth for it, so finding a FREE WiFi network in your holiday resort is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
But are you safe using these free networks?, most Bars and Restaurants here in Lanzarote offer their customers free WiFi as an incentive to stay in their venue as the more time you and your family are there the more your likely to spend, and lets face it WiFi is something most of will be looking for and generally expect.
But how safe are we on these networks?
The frightening truth is that most FREE WiFi networks in local Bars etc are very easy to hack. Normally we go to a bar or restaurant and see a network name on our mobile or laptop, something like “Johns Bar WiFi”, ask John at the bar for the WEP code, go online and update Facebook with our holiday photos, collect a few emails etc without giving a second thought to how safe we are. If the FREE WiFi networks security is a simple WEP Key code form the owner then its best to look elsewhere for your daily dose of Facebook or Twitter. The security behind these types of internet access are very basic and will not keep you and your data safe, there are however a growing number of venues here that are offering the more secure login options on their WiFi, these are run by user authentication and and have nice little landing pages telling you about the venue and who is behind the system so you know its a real network and not just some hacker sat near by trying to spoof you into giving up your bank details.
How can we stay safe on FREE WiFi?
Basically there are 3 main rules to keeping yourself and your data safe when you are using public WiFi.
- Make sure the network is actually the one for the venue you are in and is not just a spoof network with the name of the venue to attract people to connect to it to collect their data. So ask the owner first.
- Only connect to an official Public WiFi network, in other words you want to see a login or landing page with an area to set up a username and password, some networks make it super easy and let you login via Facebook, they might ask for a quick like on their page as a thank you and one great thing with this is some business will send you special offers via Facebook you can use at their venue.
- This is Public WiFi 101 and you should make sure this is adhered to in all Public WiFi areas when you use WiFi, paid or FREE. Turn OFF sharing in your devices settings, this is easy to do and will help you keep your files safe.
We will be posting some lists on places with Secure FREE WiFi on here as we come across them to help you surf safe on your holidays here in Lanzarote.
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