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Use Public Wi-Fi and Computers Carefully


    Security Tips on Using Public Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi facilities were available at various local and oversea public areas such as shopping malls, coffee shops, hotels, airports or government premises. The hackers, howerver, always set up cyber traps by compromising these facilities. Users should pay attention on the security risks when employing Wi-Fi services.

Potential Security Risks

  • Messages transmitted via Wi-Fi communications may be intercepted.
  • The mobile device may connect to the Wi-Fi network setting up by the hackers. This may lead to leakage of account or personal information.
  • The Wi-Fi facilities have been already compromised and deceive the users to click the links to fraudulent or macilious websites.

Safety Tips

  • Logout all systems at your mobile device before using Wi-Fi connection.
  • All software, in partular the security application and browsers, should always be kept updated.
  • Verify the selected network service set identifier (SSID). Do not use unknown or dubious Wi-Fi network.
  • Employ encryption on the Wi-Fi communications, such as WPA2-PSK and AES. Avoid using the WEP and WPA encryption standard which were reported to be vulnerable.
  • Avoid clicking any links from suspicious web page.
  • Avoid logging in any web applications such as email or social networking sites. Do not conduct any online transactions or online banking services.
  • Avoid handling personal or sensitive information when using public Wi-Fi
  • Disable the auto-connected funciton at the mobile devices. Turn off the Wi-Fi at your mobile devices when not in use.
  • Change your username or/and the password you have used on the public Wi-Fi when you return home or from another safe computer.

    Security Tips on Using Public Computer

A public computer is any of the various types of computers available in public areas. In Hong Kong, places where public computers are available include libraries, cafes, restaurants or facilities run by the government.

Many different people throughout the day use public computers, so using them poses certain security risks.

Potential Security Risks

  • The public computer may have spyware or key logger software installed.
  • There may be webcams installed or even somebody standing nearby, watching to steal your account and password data.
  • There may be eavesdroppers on wireless networks that capture your password and read your private email.
  • Your physical property such as your handbag or your mobile phone may be stolen if you leave them unattended as you surf the Internet.

Safety Tips

  • Take care of all your personal belongings.
  • Be aware for somebody watching over your shoulder.
  • If necessary, consider scanning the public computer using one of the free online virus scanners before use.
  • Clear all history, cookies, temporary files, your data files, your account name and password etc. from the public computer once you have finished.
  • Consider checking and configuring the browser properly before going online.
  • Avoid performing any sensitive operations such as e-shopping, stock trading or e-banking activities etc. using public computers. These activities might reveal your password and personal information such as bank account number or credit card number.
  • If you use a web mail account to read your email, such as GMail, be sure that the connection is established over a secure web link.
  • Select a reputable place for using public computers. Some places may completely erase the hard disk and reinstall the operating system from scratch for each user.
  • Change your username or/and the password you have used on the public computer when you return home or from another safe computer.
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