Staying connected on holiday with our family and friends is, at first sight, the most normal thing in the world and asking for the Wifi key in the places we go to has become almost instinctive...
However, beware of unpleasant surprises: here are some basic rules concerning public Wifi that should allow you to enjoy your holidays and travel in complete serenity.
What to pack for your holiday: some tips for surfing with peace of mind
- Do you really need Wifi (to surf)? Ah, the benefits of disconnection... but that's not really the point here! Unless you want to watch long movies or stream music, it is advisable (if your subscription allows it of course) to use your mobile data: it is always safer (remember: your smartphone can be used as a "hotspot" to connect your laptop or tablet, known by the geeks as "tethering").
- Beware of open networks or "FREE WIFI SPOT" behind which criminals may hide. Not only can these criminals steal sensitive data (passwords, access codes, etc.) in an unencrypted way, but they can also infect your devices (or even take control of them) by injecting malicious software (malware). In general, the networks offered by hotels or other establishments are only safe when the connection is made with a personalized password (or when it is necessary to go through a more secure homepage).
- Surf with extreme caution. It is best not to do any banking or other important actions via a public Wi-Fi network. Avoid creating accounts that require a password. Someone could read it and know it. This is also why you should not install new applications.
- No need to surf or send messages anymore? Leave the Wi-Fi network. This will close the door to criminals. Make sure that your device does not automatically search for a Wi-Fi network and that it does not automatically connect to it. Your battery will thank you for this too
Don't give up on your good habits when you go on holiday
- Only browse to secure websites which you can recognise by the URL (https:// instead of http://). A green lock appears in front of the URL in the browser.
- Received a suspicious message? Never click on the links or attachment but delete it. Forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Always, and particularly if you open new accounts on holiday, use strong passwords.
Be a cyberpro
How to ensure your browsing is secure when travelling? Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This is your personal secure tunnel to the Wi-Fi network. You can install free or paying VPN services online. Various virus scanners also offer VPN.