Connecting to the Internet using a wireless hotspot is a wonderful service “if” you heed the warnings signs.
- Public workstations may be compromised. Using a public computer for more than browsing can put your finances, identity, and accounts at risk since you may have now way of knowing just what software is installed on the computer.
- Verify that the wireless network is authentic. Ask to speak with the manager to verify the Service Set IDentifier (SSID). Many attackers will connect to hotspots and then share out a network to closely match the hotspot network. It would be tragic if you inadvertently connected to another machine that was logging all the traffic going between your machine and the actual network.
- Turned off all file sharing. If you allow people to connect to your computer while at home or in the office, make sure that this feature is turned off while using a hotspot since it provides another way for attackers to “read” files on your computer.
- Turn on your firewall. By turning on the firewall and preventing any incoming traffic that you don’t initiate, you are making it harder for attacker to access your computer without your knowledge.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Information Technology Services provides the Cisco VPN Client to the UIS users free of charge through Software WebStore. This software encrypts communications and enables you to securely connect to the UIS network and Internet gateway.
- Make sure that your machine is up-to-date before you connect. All major operating system vendors (Windows, *NIX, and Mac) release updates of their software as a response to a flaw that could put your information at risk. Contact your support center if you need help.
- Keep your antivirus up-to-date. Information Technology Services recommends Microsoft Security Essentials for PCs and Avira for Macs.