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Crime prevention Hertfordshire

Wi-Fi and webmail

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Wi-Fi and webmail has made it much easier to work flexibly. We are able to work not just at home but in cafes, restaurants and other public places.  However, the security risk associated with using public Wi-Fi is that criminals can intercept what you are doing online. It's a great opportunity to steal your passwords and break into your emails.
This can happen if the connection between your device and the Wi-Fi is not encrypted, or if someone creates a spoof hotspot which fools you into thinking that it is the legitimate one.  An encrypted connection will require you to enter a ‘key’, which may be something like '1A68C9E2'.  Alternatively, you may simply be prompted to log in to enable internet access. This will tell the operator that you are online in their café, hotel or pub - and there will very rarely be any security encryption.

Safe public Wi-Fi

  • Use a secure, encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) through your business.
  • If using public Wi-Fi, wherever possible use established commercial hotspot providers such as BT or Virgin.
  • Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus software and your firewall is running before you use public Wi-Fi.
  • Unless you are using a secure web page, do not send or receive private information when using public Wi-Fi. The website address should begin with HTTPS and there should be a little lock at the top right of your browser bar. This goes for using webmail too.
  • Be aware of who is around you and may be watching what you are doing online. There are privacy filters available which effectively blocks the view of your screen from people sitting either side of you.

Get Safe Online provide more detailed advice.

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