Security Tips on Using Public Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi facilities are available at various local and overseas public areas such as shopping malls, coffee shops, hotels, airports or government premises. Users should pay attention to the security risks when using Wi-Fi services.
Potential Security Risks
- Messages transmitted via Wi-Fi communications may be intercepted.
- The mobile device may inadvertently connect to the Wi-Fi network set up or compromised by hackers. Users may click the links to fraudulent or malicious websites leading to leakage of account or personal information, or infection of the mobile device by malware, etc.
- All software, in particular security applications and browsers, should always be kept updated.
- Verify the service set identifier (SSID) of the selected network. Do not use unknown or dubious Wi-Fi networks.
- Employ prevailing encryption standards, if available, on Wi-Fi communications. Avoid using WEP and WPA encryption standards which are with potential security vulnerabilities.
- Avoid handling personal or sensitive information via e-services including social media platforms, e-banking services, etc. when using public Wi-Fi. If necessary, appropriate encrypted connections should be taken such as HTTPS or Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Avoid clicking any links from suspicious web pages.
- Disable the auto-connection function at mobile devices. Turn off the Wi-Fi connection at your mobile devices when not in use.
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
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
- Your physical property such as your handbag
or your mobile phone may be stolen if you leave
them unattended as you surf the Internet.
- 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
- 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
- If you use a web mail account to read your
email, such as GMail, be sure that
the connection is established over a secure
- 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.