Many Australians set up home Wi-Fi networks. These networks can have good security and firewalls to stop hackers if you enable the security when you set up your network.
Is my Wi-Fi secure?
Your Wi-Fi network is secure if a locked padlock appears against the name of your network. To see if your home Wi-Fi is secure go to the list of networks under ‘settings’ on your device.
When setting up the network, use the password provided or enter a new password that is hard to guess, or ‘strong’, and connect all your devices with that password.
Public Wi-Fi hotspots
A Wi-Fi hotspot is an area where access to the internet is through wireless technology. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are commonly found in airports, cafes and restaurants, hotels, shopping centres and on public transport. They are often free and unsecured, so be aware of the risks when using unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots.
Are there any risks in using Wi-Fi hotspots?
Wi-Fi hotspots are convenient, but they come with some risks to personal information and safety.
It is easy to hack free Wi-Fi hotspots, giving hackers access your personal information, such as credit card and banking details, or allowing them to download malware on to your devices.
Access to calendars and data from wearables (like fitness watches) could give a stalker information about your daily activities and where you will be, for example, from knowing your exercise routine.
What can I do about the risks?
The good news is there’s plenty you can do to reduce the risks of using public Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Make sure you connect to the right hotspot:
- stop your devices from automatically connecting to public Wi-Fi whenever it is available, select manual connection instead
- check with the venue if you’re not certain of the hotspot’s correct name.