Secure Wi-Fi - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Secure Wi-Fi

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Free Wi-Fi signs are posted all over Texoma, at coffee shops, air ports, malls and hotels, but how safe are these free Wi-Fi locations?

Anytime we join a public free hot spot, so do hackers looking for our most personal information at our most vulnerable state.

“There is no security. These free Wi-Fi hot spots become targets for criminals out there. They’re looking for your passwords and even bank accounts,” said President of Web Fire Communications, Ripley Tate.

At free Wi-Fi locations, hackers can figure out your most personal information at your most vulnerable state.  To protect your safety, you can check your web address for "http" versus "https" which is something that will take you less than a second to do. Many Texoma residents didn’t know very little about.

The "s" at the end of "http" means secure. You don't want to enter any personal or financial information to any site without seeing it.

"In today’s online world, most people are making purchases online with their credit cards or debit cards. All of this could be scary if you’re not doing it through a secure website. It’s not a small thing, It’s on a very large scale," said Owner of Financial Partners, Kelly Fristoe.

Thanks to technology there are more ways for you to have a safe Wi-Fi connection, one is setting up a secure browser extension, another is connecting to a VPN or a virtual private network.

“Having a secure browser extension means your web browser will only surf to “https” protocols, meaning it will only view secure websites. A VPN will encrypt the connection between your device and the servers that you hit. There are even some sites out that allow you on a subscription base to connect to the VPN through the public Wi-Fi,” said Tate.

These are all small steps that could make a big difference to protect your information.

When you’re dealing with these public Wi-Fi hot spots, it’s even more critical to make sure that what you’re transmitting is either not critical,” said Tate.

 If you do choose to use any of your devices at a hot spot, Tate also says, “You must be smart and diligent.”  You also should turn off the file sharing on your device and make sure the devices scans are all up to date.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6