Public Wi-Fi connections are convenient but not always secure. Using them for sensitive transactions can let thieves misuse your accounts. Many mobile apps don’t encrypt information; you might be at even greater risk by using them on unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
- The key to security is encryption – software that scrambles information you send online. On a secure wireless network, all the information you send on that network is protected. Secure networks usually require you to enter a password. Most public Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t secure. If you visit encrypted sites, only the information you send and receive from that site is protected.
- If you need to enter financial or sensitive information, use only secure networks and websites that encrypt your financial information.
- If you need to conduct a financial transaction using an app, use a secure wireless network, or your phone’s cellular network (often referred to as 3G or 4G).
- If you must use an unsecured network, skip the app and check whether the company’s mobile website shows that it’s secure. Look for ‘https’ in the web address. Encrypt your personal information before sending.