Protect yourself on public Wi-Fi

system-preferencesChecking email on vacation? Checking your bank balance at Starbuck’s? Or, for those of us on the Gulf Coast, lost power and need to get on a public Wi-Fi source to communicate personal details to your insurance company after our first tropical storm of the season? (Go away Bill.) Anytime you log on to a public Internet source in a hotel, airport, restaurant, coffee shop, anywhere – here are some things you need to do to protect yourself:

  • Turn off any guest access
  • Make sure your firewall is turned on
  • Turn off all file sharing 
  • Remove the public network when you are finished
  • Set up 2-step authentication on all account logins
  • Be aware, watch your back
  • Scroll down to find these settings on your computer – Mac or Windows

A password manager is a good idea as well. Also read: Life with just one password

Yes, this is a pain to do every time. But so is chasing down your personal identity when someone steals it. This is a very basic list but probably more protection then you have used in the past. Have something to add to the list? Leave it below with detailed instructions. Thanks.

Stop sitting naked in Starbuck’s …


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System Preferences > Users & Groups
System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall
System Preferences > Sharing
System Preferences > Network > Advanced

Control Panel > User Accounts
Control Panel > Windows Firewall
Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center
Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Advanced Sharing Settings

*For our fellow Gulf Coast residents, here’s our recently published Hurricane Evacuation List