Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Finding a free public Wi-Fi hotspot can be a lifesaver in the age of electronic communication, but it also can be a nightmare for your information's security.
The default security settings and firewalls on your smartphone, tablet or notebook may not be strong enough to prevent prying eyes. But there are some steps you can take for some added protection:
u Turn off sharing. You can share files, music and remote login from your own private home Wi-Fi, but you need to disable these settings before connecting to public Wi-Fi. Otherwise, anyone in your vicinity can hack into your PC.
v Avoid automatically connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots. Your smartphone or tablet may be set to connect to any available Wi-Fi hotspot, a setting that can seriously endanger your privacy. That would allow your device to connect to a public network without your express permission, or it may automatically connect you to a network set up to steal information.
v Confirm the network name. Sometimes hackers will set up a fake Wi-Fi network to attract unwitting users. For example, the public Wi-Fi network in your neighborhood Starbucks may not be called "Free Starbucks Wi-Fi." If you're in a cafe, coffeeshop or other business, check with an employee.
For more tips, visit mashable.com.