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Use public Wi-Fi safely when out of the office with these tips

secure Wi-Fi icon for ImageQuest

With the fall business travel and conference season approaching, we thought we’d remind you about safe public Wi-Fi use with a few tips.

For starters, we recommend you use your company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a paid VPN if your company doesn’t provide a VPN. A VPN will encrypt your communications – but beware, it can also slow down your loading speeds.

We recommend using a paid VPN because some free versions contain malware and could steal your data.

Next, if you absolutely MUST get that confidential document sent by a deadline and you’re traveling, you should encrypt the email to which you attach it. Your company email could be encrypted by default, but you need to know that in advance.

If you are unsure, ask your IT team before you travel about encryption. There are ways to turn it on in different email programs – or you can use an add-on.

(We use Zix for our clients who need emails encrypted.)

USAToday also suggests you avoid using non-work-related apps while traveling. You can still use the services, but use their mobile sites instead of the app on your device.

We also suggest you use common sense. Don’t decide to log-in to your financial portfolio or bank to pay bills, for example, while you’re traveling. Do that at home.

Finally, if a software or operating system update comes out while you’re traveling, download it immediately. But if someone suggests a new app to you, wait until you’re back home with your usual secured systems to download it onto your phone or iPad.