Cyber News Now: Navigating public networks while on the go
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - We need internet access for a lot of things these days. Some instances include travel, remote learning, work or just social media. But, do you know how to keep your information secure on the go?
It could be something as simple as visiting a coffee shop. While there, you may realize you need wifi, but how do you access it safely? Your starting point might just be asking businesses, like the Bees Knees, about the networks and verifying your connection.
“We have a Bee's Guest network, same thing at The Hive, it’s a Hive guest network, and we just tell people the pass code when they ask. We don’t have it written down anywhere so people have to verbally ask us for it,” said Eric Kinlaw, Owner of The Bee's Knees.
However, that’s not always the end of the story. IntelliSystems CEO Kevin Wade says your information may not always be protected.
"Bottom line first thing is, no public wifi is secure.” said Kevin Wade.
In using public networks, you could also run the risk of exposing your data to what Wade calls an 'evil twin.' This could be a network with a similar name to the one you intend to connect to, but with a bad actor behind it.
“Maybe they have a key logger, they can log all the key touches on your computer if you’re typing things in,” said Wade.
However, there is something you can do if you have to access the internet remotely.
“That would be accomplished with something called a VPN, or a virtual private network. In essence, you’re tunneling through an encrypted tunnel over the internet to get back to the office network.” said Wade.
Should you be the business with guests needing to use your internet, Wade recommends not only a secure network, but also separate ones.
“So if they have some problem with their equipment, it doesn’t again interact or damage your production network.”
This is something Kinlaw at The Bee's Knees knows, too.
“We have another kind of hidden network for all of our computer systems and internal devices.” said Kinlaw.
Ultimately, protecting your information begins with you. Wade says when in doubt, always be skeptical.
Wade also recommends using your company devices, like your laptop, when on the go. Wade says your company laptop will likely already have cyber security tools in place for protection.
As for businesses, Wade urges companies to have a separate network for guests that need to use wifi.
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