Skip to main content

Use a secure connection

Wherever you can, avoid using hotspots that are run by people or organisations you don’t know or trust.

Criminals have been known to set up Wi-Fi hotspots in order to steal users' banking credentials, account passwords, and other valuable information. 

  • Confirm the 'official' hotspot name from venue staff and manually connect your device to it. Don't let your device automatically connect to the first hotspot in its list.
  • Turn off network discovery options like “Remember networks this device has joined.”
  • Turn off file sharing. If you have file sharing turned on and you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, your files could be accessed by others using the same hotspot.
  • Install a reputable virtual private network (VPN) solution on your device. When enabled and configured correctly, a VPN is a service that uses encryption to keep your information secure when using public Wi-Fi, as well as providing a level of anonymity. That said, a VPN doesn’t secure your devices or online accounts, so it’s important that you still keep them up to date with the latest security software updates, and always use strong passwords. Also consider the following when selecting a VPN service provider:
    • Look at independent reviews online. You’ll often find honest reviews from other users, so research the app on reputable blogs, websites or trusted sources that are not the app’s own website. You can also find out more about the app’s description, its content rating and the developer, and whether an app only encrypts some of your data, not all of it. Check out our partners page for a range of independent VPN compare-and-review websites.
    • Where the company is based. Make sure you select a VPN provider that is based in a country with strong privacy laws. This reduces the possibility that data collected by your VPN will be shared with others.
    • VPN apps may provide your personal information to third parties. Many VPN apps are funded by advertising (which appears within the app) giving consumers the option to download the apps for free. In exchange, VPN apps may share your information with third parties. If you use a VPN app to keep your internet activity private, make sure you review its terms and conditions and privacy policy, to see if it shares information with third parties.
    • Consider the app permissions. Apps will ask for access to certain information on your device to help improve how it operates for you. For example, the app may request permission to read your text messages or access your photos. These permissions will be outlined and explained on the app store or during installation. Generally, a VPN application should not require access to your personal data.

Don't do your online banking or shopping, send confidential emails or enter your passwords or credit card details on public Wi-Fi. Wait until you're using a secure home, office of mobile connection.

When you are using websites while on public Wi-Fi, make sure the websites are secure. Always look for a https ('s' stands for secure) in the website address and a padlock on the web browser.

Always remember to disconnect from the hotspot after you have finishing using. it. 

But remember, no public Wi-Fi is 100% secure, so consider using your own mobile data for any sensitive transactions.

Content complexity
This rating relates to the complexity of the advice and information provided on the page.
Was this information helpful?
Was this information helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!


Tell us why this information was helpful and we’ll work on making more pages like it