Public WiFi risks
The Cloud operates public WiFi hotspots that by definition offer open network access for all. This makes it possible for The Cloud to provide a simple and easy method of connectivity for as many devices as possible.
However, this exposes the potential risk that a third party could intercept these signals if a device or application you are using does not encrypt the data it is sending over the network.
The Cloud encrypts your data when you register of log on to The Cloud network only. For an additional level of security we recommend using a VPN client or software that encrypts all traffic passing from the device onto the Internet. A secure, free VPN can be found online at http://hotspotshield.com/.
Another risk associated with WiFi is the accidental connection to ‘bogus’ networks. In this rare case a third party attempts to mimic a ‘real’ hotspot and have you connect to it in order to collect data from your device. If you want to ensure that you are connected to a Cloud hotspot look for our '_TheCloud', and access the page https://service.thecloud.net. Check that the venue landing page appears and that the security certificate of the page is correct. If you have a registered device on The Cloud network it should also tell you that you are logged on.
General Internet risks
Other risks of using Public WiFi are no different from using the Internet in general.
The most important thing is to ensure that the apps, sites and services you use while browsing are from safe sources and to use and update basic protections such as your firewall and virus checkers.
Follow these simple steps to protect your devices and your personal data;
- Install and update well-known anti-virus software and personal firewalls to protect your devices
- Make sure you log out when your session ends – and make sure any ‘Keep me logged in’ check-boxes are not ticked
- Ensure your computer is password-protected
- Don’t leave your laptop unattended in a public place – or lock it if you absolutely have to leave it
- Be careful not to leave credit card details exposed on-screen
- Make sure sites are secure before entering your personal banking details – look for the padlock icon on your browser and click it to confirm the page is secure
- Look for web addresses starting ‘https’ – the ‘s’ means the page is encrypted and your details are secure
- Be careful when responding to emails – don’t divulge any personal or financial details, and remember that your bank will never ask you to send them your password or PIN
- Shop sensibly – exercise caution and check reviews of sites you’re unfamiliar with
- Avoid ‘phishers’ – sites that resemble a legitimate business but are in fact fakes designed to steal your personal details – by being cautious and protecting your personal details
Can computers connected to a wireless network be hacked into or get a virus?
Any unsecured device, that is a device not set up for example with a virus checker, firewall, VPN may be vulnerable when connected to a public network. Follow our simple steps to help protect your device.