We all know for a fact the basic do’s and don’ts when it comes to Internet privacy. However, we tend to let our guards down when we surf the Net in the comforts of our own home or at work. Though we are already familiar of these basic rules about Internet privacy, not all Internet access points are created the same. Below are the list of places where you must take extra precaution of your Internet privacy, as there are numerous possibilities of data theft and hacking waiting for the right time to attack you.

1. Hotels

Almost every hotel nowadays provides Internet access to their customers as part of their amenities. Sometimes, it’s openly available through the building, and at other times, they will provide you with a passcode to authorize your connection to their Wi-Fi service. However, keep in mind that the easier it is for you to connect to the Internet at a hotel, there’s also the possibility that others will also have an easy way to access your personal information. You see, the hotel’s network places a cookie, which allows you the access. That cookie isn’t on your system, but on theirs, which makes it difficult for you to remove the connection with them. So if you’re staying at a hotel, and are planning to place a transaction online or probably check your banking account, hold that thought. You don’t want to share any private information while using a hotel’s Internet access, regardless if they’re using a wireless security or not.

2. Fast Food Joints

For some of those who don’t have their own Internet connection at their homes, they would most likely rely on coffee shops or fast food joints that offer free Wi-Fi access to their customers. Though it may be a good idea to dine in and then get access to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, or maybe continue your work report at the same time, it would still not be a good idea to access your confidential information and hold some important financial transactions on places such as these. These places, may not be using the proper guidelines in setting up wireless security, and could therefore risk your personal data as other people connecting to the same public connection may have the ability to gain access to your information.

3. Friend’s House

No matter how trusting you are with your friend and you know for sure that he or she will not do anything foolish against you, don’t be too trusting to the point that you’re already sharing your own information whenever you use your friend’s computer. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t trust our friends, but if there’s something you wouldn’t want others to know, like your bank account or social security number, don’t share it on their computers. You’ll never know when or how they might get access to it.

4. Library

Most libraries now offer free Internet access to people who would like to use the place. Although the fact of a free Internet access in libraries are advantageous, and most of us believe that libraries seem to be a safe place, it’s better to think twice first before accessing any of your sensitive information using that kind of connection. You can read books anonymously, but most of the times you can’t use a computer at the library so anonymously, since you’re forced to present a library card or any sort of identification before you are authorized to use it. That information only needs to be matched up to your time on the computer in order to access any personal information you may have left on the computer.

5. School

As the education evolved and improved over the past few years, it’s no surprise that the computer era has largely increased in campuses including the wide use of Internet access. The availability of it has greatly improved the way of teaching and has made the students’ research and academic learning much easier and accessible. You would hear the most of the schools now require their students to bring iPads to school, which now serves as their textbooks, notes, and provides other educational needs. This means that some assignments, projects, and other school works are needed to be completed online. But since not every student has Internet access, the school now has the responsibility to make it available to them at all times.

You would think that since it’s a connection that’s sanctioned by the school automatically means that it’s completely safe to use, right? Well that’s not actually the case. We’re still not sure if the school’s network administrator has applied all the needed security and restriction in such a way that students and school members are fully protected from any kind of Internet attacks and cybercriminals. Therefore, it’s better to remind your kids to always keep on full alert not to access any unauthorized sites, or leave any personal information while using the school’s Internet connection.

We all need to remember this one important rule when it comes to Internet privacy and public Internet access — Everyone who uses that computer or network that you’re on has a great chance of accessing or seeing anything you have just shared. So think wisely of the information or data that you’ll be sharing first so that you can truly enjoy the benefits of utilizing free Wi-Fi Internet access in these public places.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Monday, December 8, 2014 at 10:03:38 PM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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