How do I stay secure on a public network?

Welcome to the latest edition of Gary’s frequently asked questions. With permission from Gary, we’ve created a series of answers to some of the most common problems in the IT industry that Gary has asked us for help with over the time we’ve been his IT consultant. We’ll take it from here, thanks, Gary.
21.06.18 AAG Digital

“So how do I stay secure on a public network?”

Well, Gary, that’s a difficult question but one that we are more than capable of handling for you.  It all begins with changing your settings to the appropriate level of security every time you connect to a public network.

Turn off sharing so that nobody can access any of the data on your computer. To do this in Windows, open the control panel, browse to network and internet, move into network and sharing centre then turn off file and printer sharing access.

Sometimes, windows might do this for you automatically when you set a network as public, but it’s always good to check.

If you are using a Mac, go to system preferences then sharing and make sure all boxes are unchecked. Turn off network discovery if it hasn’t already been disabled, this will prevent others from being able to see your machine on the network, so you are less likely to be targeted.

The best method of keeping your computer data secure is to make sure to turn off your Wi-Fi when you are not using it and disable ‘automatic’ connections so that when you are on the go, your computer doesn’t just connect on its own accord.

“Can’t I automate this stuff? It’s a pain to set it up every time I connect to Wi-Fi.”

Well, Gary, you can, but that sounds like another GFAQ in the making. We’ll answer this question (and many more, we’re sure…) next time.

In the meantime, if you or your IT department are looking for assistance with your IT services, consider giving us a call like Gary and outsourcing to one of our experienced IT consultants. We can even be your IT department if you don’t have one. External or on-site, find out what AAG-IT can do for your IT services today on 0114 352 0688.