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Protect your Digital Information

Are you really protecting your digital information?  You’ve likely heard of an SSL certificate.  But do you know what it is or why it is important?  I’d venture a guess that like most people you rarely give it a thought.

Almost a year ago to the day, there was a post entitled, “The Cost of Public Wi-Fi“.  That post contained some tips on how to protect your data.  Most people understand the importance of protecting passwords and logins.  Many know not to use a public Wi-Fi but let’s face it many of us do.  Starbucks, airport lounges, and even your local grocery store all provide wi-fi and a public password.  Maybe you even think that your account will never be hacked.

Who actually remembers that your email is data and contains lots of information about you, your company, and your family?  It can be the gateway to your digital information.  The first post provided a few tips on how to reduce your risk when using a public Wi-Fi.  One of the tips said, “check your email application to make sure that is using SSL”.  SSL – what’s that?  Where is it?  Do you have it?  How do you know?

What is an SSL Certificate and Why Should You Care” is an article written by Bill Hess, the founder of Pixel Privacy.  It provides some great information that answers all of those questions and more.  I hope you find the article both informative and useful.

The Cost of Public Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi can be Costly

Public Wi-Fi Networks put your data at risk.

Free Wi-Fi can be Costly

Ok, admit it – you’ve logged on to the public Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop, school, airport lounge or hotel.  It probably made you feel even safer when you had to enter a password.  You know the ones that are prominently displayed in the waiting area, at the counter or handed to you like a business card!  Well, even with a password you are sharing a network with lots of other people, which means your data is at risk.

A password and the fact that most wireless routers have a firewall to protect you doesn’t mean your data is safe.  According to Anurag Sharma, a principal of WithumSmith+Brown’s cybersecurity consulting practice.  “Hackers can act as the middle man between you and the connection point, seeing all traffic and files you are using.”

These days most everyone has become dependent on their smartphones, laptops and tablets.  Wi-Fi allows you to stay connected.  Wi-Fi provides a strong signal for a faster connection.  This allows you to work while on the go, bank online, make travel arrangements and surf the Internet.  Basically, Wi-Fi creates a mobile desktop environment.

You can still do these things and keep your data safe.  Don’t take unnecessary risks with your data.  If you are using a public Wi-Fi connection, play it safe and follow a few guidelines to greatly reduce your risk.

  • Turn off network file sharing.  You can do this by choosing the connection type as public.
  • Use a VPN connection when possible.
  • Check your email application to make sure that it is using SSL.
  • Do sensitive browsing, like banking and credit card information, at home.

This list isn’t all-encompassing but it is a good start to help keep your data and the company data safer.  Don’t let public Wi-Fi connections cost you everything.

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