October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! It promotes raising awareness to the importance of cybersecurity and protecting your identity when surfing the web. It is important to keep your identity and financial information protected while you are using a public wireless connection. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Avoid using university/public wifi to pay bills, check your bank accounts, or online shopping. Using the wifi at coffee shops, libraries, or even universities may seem convenient at times, but they are often not secure enough for sensitive information. The Federal Trade Commission suggests using websites that are encrypted when you must use an unsecure wifi network.
Research has shown that mobile applications do not adequately encrypt information, which is why you may not want to file your taxes, purchase items online, or access your bank account through an unsecured wireless network. For tasks like these, it may be best to use a secure network or use your mobile data.
Be aware of your surroundings. Shoulder surfing is a spying tactic used to obtain PINs or passwords. Try not to leave your electronic devices unattended, if you must do so, be sure they are locked. Remember to log out of your student/personal accounts when using public computers.
Lastly, monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. Follow these simple steps to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft or a data breach and teach your family and friends to do the same!