Traveling this spring break? Airport terminals, shopping malls and even your local coffee shop often have unsecured wireless networks that don't require log-in credentials. Using them is a risk. They put you on a network with many other people, and some users on the network may be looking to intercept any personal information you enter.
Lightly browsing the web, and having proper firewall and security software running on your computer, makes the risk not as great, but you should never enter any of these things on a site while using an unsecured wireless network:
- Usernames or Passwords
- Personal information (e.g. Social Security Number)
- Credit Card Numbers
Note: If a business or location has a secured wireless network that requires a password, you should still use caution when connecting, and be wary of the information you type. You're still connecting to a shared network with other users.
When in doubt, it is always best to use good cybersecurity habits of stopping and thinking before connecting to any wireless network.