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How to stay safe on public Wi-Fi

How to stay safe on public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is great when you're traveling or just kicking around town. You can connect a laptop to the Internet with ease. Or Web surf on a mobile gadget without using your data plan.

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It's never been easier to find free Wi-Fi either. Click here for sites and apps that can help.

Of course, it isn't all peaches and cream. Public Wi-Fi can be dangerous if you aren't careful. Hackers would love to snoop on your email, social network or banking.

Don't give them the chance. Follow these rules for staying safe on public Wi-Fi.

Save sensitive surfing for home
Planning on doing any banking or shopping? Wait until you get home.

Just remember to secure your Wi-Fi network, of course. Click here for step-by-step directions.

While it isn't easy for a hacker to snag your log-in or credit card information from public Wi-Fi, it isn't impossible. Don't give them even the smallest chance.

If you're using a smartphone, use the cellular connection instead of Wi-Fi. That's much harder for hackers to intercept and crack.

When banking, use your institution's official app and sign up for any extra security that your bank offers.

For social networks, use the network's official app. This is more secure than going through the website.

On laptops, make sure any site hosting your information is encrypted. Most sensitive sites use SSL encryption. This appears as HTTPS in the address. Your browser's address bar will also show a padlock.

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