By Alisa Michael

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I am going to date myself here, but whenever I use a public Wi-Fi, the Rockwell song, “I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me” runs through my mind.   Who IS really watching where you are while you are surfing the net or paying bills on a public Wi-Fi?   Technology has evolved to a place where we can access the internet at coffee shops, airports and hotels, to name a few.  These access points are open to anyone to use – including bad guys.

5-271While you are sitting in the airport waiting for your plane and catching up on paying your bills, one of these bad guys could be sitting across from you capturing sensitive information.  So, as you are typing in your login and security code, that dapper young man across the way might be capturing all of your information to use later.

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This counts for your phone, too.  If your phone is set up to constantly be searching to connect to Wi-Fi, you may think you are on a secure connection but, in fact, your phone may have connected to an insecure one without your knowledge.

So how can you protect yourself? If you are going to access sensitive material, at a minimum, make sure the wireless hotspot requires you to enter a password.  Ensure that the firewall on your computer is turned on.  This protects you by acting as a barrier between you and the bad guys.  It is easy to check if you firewall in turned on.  Simply click the Windows start button and type windows firewall in the search box.  You will now be able to see if your firewall is turned on or off.

Another step in protection is disabling file sharing before leaving your office.  For those lawyers trying to hammer out the last round of edits on a contract, make sure that – before you’ve left the office – you have downloaded documents to your computer and you have disabled any file sharing.  There are more tips for using public Wi-Fi in a tip we shared a few years back, as well as information about being careful where you charge your iPhone.

5-273So the next time you decide to do a little online shopping while enjoying that coffee and pastry, make sure you are being smart about it! 

 

Alisa MichaelAlisa Michael

With over 15 years’ experience in the legal arena as well as client management, Alisa brings her experience to Network 1’s team, clients and partners.  She strives to be proactive in managing clients’ needs and expectations with an outcome of client satisfaction and retention.

amichael@network1consulting.com or 404.997.7637

Network 1 Consulting is a 16-year-oldIT Support company in Atlanta, GA.  We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices.  Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms.  This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly.  We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.

 

 

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