Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Wed November 18 2015

Wi-Fi Expert Offers 5 Ways To Secure Information Amid Your Holiday Travels

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | November 18, 2015

Wi-Fi Expert Offers 5 Ways To Secure Information Amid Your Holiday Travels

Graphic via Thinkstock

It’s important to keep safe out there, and that also goes for your vital information that can be compromised over various Wi-Fi channels.

Thankfully, PrivateGiant CEO and SNDR founder Shaun Murphy has a list of ways you can keep your information safe as you breeze around the Internet using the provided Wi-Fi aboard airplanes or other venues.

For those not familiar with Mr. Murphy, he is “one of the nation’s leading experts in communication security with over 20 years experience in the industry.”

You can learn a bit more about his tech SNDR at its website. Essentially the app brings a level of comfort to your digital missives, by "(combining) all the ways you already communicate into a single platform. You can text, email, share files and use social media all from one app. And, every message is encrypted and completely secure.”

For the privacy conscious, there are a number of steps one can take to make sure logging onto a Wi-Fi source doesn’t mean giving away all of your precious info.

Here are the steps Murphy suggests (Murphy’s tips follow in bold):

1) Listen to your apps/devices when they say your connection is not secure.

Essentially, heed the warning signs that pepper your browser, especially the URL bar that signals if you are not secure. You will do well to heed this warning in particular: “If a Wi-Fi access point requires you to install anything (software, plugin, or a security certificate) before connecting, disconnect immediately. This is a known scam that can install malicious software that causes immediate damage (ransomware, malware, viruses, etc.) on your device.”

Murphy continues, “Most operating systems will warn you if you're connecting to a Wi-Fi that is not secure. If you do connect to unsecure Wi-Fi, your information is freely readable by anyone in close proximity. Only connect to Wi-Fi access points that require you to type in a password via the operating system's Wi-Fi connection screen (not in a web browser).”

2) Install a separate web browser for traveling or connecting to unknown Wi-Fi access points.

This is your safety net of sorts. The PrivateGiant CEO might consider this the figurative rental car that you use so you don’t ruin your own automobile at home: “Use this alternative browser for basic surfing and never log into your email accounts, social media accounts, or post any personally identifiable information.”

3) See if your home internet router has a virtual private network option.

Setting up a VPN is something I actually love to do when Internet spelunking on an unfamiliar network.

Murphy proclaims, “This is somewhat complex to set up but when done you can safely connect to your home network from any Wi-Fi access point, secure or not.”

And really, there is nothing better than piece of mind: “You will be surfing and emailing just like you do at home but while 30,000ft in the air. How cool is that!”

4) Just don't connect to unknown/unsafe Wi-Fi.

Murphy elaborates. “Use your cell phone in tethering mode... if you have Verizon turn off that horribly invasive super cookie tracking!” 

5) Basic stuff... make sure you type in websites using https:// and not just plain http://.

The expert explains, “This will tell the browser to connect securely (or display an error if it can't) to your online service and give you very strong protection.”

And there you have it; several ways to ensure you browse the Internet with a bit of comfort.

Now this isn’t to say you are in a virtual bunker where nothing can breach your security, but you are miles ahead of the game with just a few simple tips.

We live in an age wherein information is available with a few strokes of the keyboard or taps on the smartphone or tablet.   

Thankfully, there are myriad ways to enjoy the comforts of available Wi-Fi without the sickening feeling that you have given up your privacy.


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