Wi-fi Hotspot Security

Video credit: Easy Ways to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi – posted by Safety in Canada on YouTube



From coffee shops and libraries to airports and shuttle buses, there are Wi-Fi hot spots almost everywhere you go.  Have you ever thought about how safe it is to access public Wi-Fi? Many Wi-Fi hotspots are unprotected and unencrypted, which means your personal information is vulnerable. Hackers can even set up a free wi-fi hotspot to steal personal information.


Think before you ink

  • Disable automatic wi-fi connection.  This will ensure you are not connecting to a malicious wifi hot spot without your approval.
  • Disable file sharing on your laptop. If the file sharing is on, other users who are using the same network can steal files from you.
  • Make sure when you are connected to an unknown wifi hotspot that you only access your email accounts that are on secure sites.  The address of a secure site will begin with https:// instead of http://. Review tips for protecting your money online, and ensure the site you are accessing is secure.
  • The safest way to keep your personal information private when using a public wifi hotspot is to access through a VPN because VPNs encrypt the data between your laptop and a VPN server. UBC offers a free VPN service to students, staff, and faculty members.
  • Avoid connecting to an online banking website, or any other website that requires your credit card information while using a public wi-fi hotspot.


The Digital Tattoo Project encourages critical discussion on topics surrounding digital citizenship and online identity. There are no correct answers and every person will view these topics from a different perspective. Be sure to complete the previous sections before answering the questions.

  • What precautions do you take to ensure that the public wi-fi hotspots you use are secure?
  • Are you ever concerned about the safety of your personal information when using wi-fi?

One response to “Wi-fi Hotspot Security”

  1. John Doe

    1. Use a VPN to encrypt data, watch out for people who peer over your shoulder, join only private networks you can trust, even if it is very limited.
    2. No, I only use my house internet and stay clear of sites I don’t trust.

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