How to stay safe on public Wi-Fi

10 February 2020

Here are some ways to protect your online information when you use public internet.

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February 11 is Safer Internet Day. It’s a timely reminder to be careful when using the internet, especially when you use public Wi-Fi.

When you’re away from home, low on data and need access to the internet, Wi-Fi can be your saviour. You can now access Wi-Fi in more places than ever. But getting online isn't quite as simple, or as safe, as it is with your home network.

Here are 5 tips to help you use public Wi-Fi safely.

Don’t automatically connect

Set your devices, like your mobile phone or tablet, so they don’t automatically connect to public Wi-Fi. You can then choose the network you want to access.

Use password protected networks

Look for places that require a password for access. These networks are more likely to be secure.

Look for networks you trust

Aim to use networks run by people or organisations you trust. Be aware scammers may create a Wi-Fi account that looks similar to that of a legitimate organisation.

Visit secure web pages

Look for ‘https://’ in the website address and a locked padlock icon. This is a way to tell if a site is genuine.

Make sure you sign out

If using a public device or computer, always sign out of sites as soon as you have finished. If you don’t, someone could access your personal details.

For bonus tips visit the eSafety Commissioner Safer Internet Day website for more information about how to use public Wi-Fi safely.

By following these tips, it can help to protect your online identity from scammers and cyber theft.

Next steps

Read more about scams and identity theft.

Page last updated: 10 February 2020