Using Wi-Fi and Public Computers Securely
Learn how to protect yourself when using a shared computer or public Wi-Fi and how accessing your accounts securely online can keep your safer.
Verify a site's security
Make sure you're on a secure site before you enter your username and password. The address of a secure site begins with ''https,'' rather than ''http.'' It's OK for a home page to begin with ''http'' but you should always make sure you're on an ''https'' page before entering your password.
A green security status bar and padlock icon next to the web address are additional visual indicators that confirm you are on a secure site. You can read the security details of a site by selecting the padlock icon located at the top or bottom of your browser window. View the security certificate and make sure it matches the site.
Be cautious with public Wi-Fi and shared computers
We all need to stay connected and do business while we're on the go, but it can be challenging to keep our personal information protected. Public Wi-Fi and shared computers are easy targets for hotspot hackers and a dangerous place to manage your banking and finances online. Protect yourself in the following ways:
- Always try to make financial transactions, like banking and shopping, on a trusted network with your own device that's protected by security software.
- Don't set up your devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi, turn off your sharing settings and use a VPN when possible. This will help protect you from security risks in public spaces.
- When you are using Public Wi-Fi or a shared computer, avoid transactions that require you to enter personal information.
- For mobile banking and other secure transactions, use your phone's data plan to connect wirelessly when entering passwords, credit card information or other details that you need to keep secure.
Log out of apps that use personal information
No matter where you are, remember to log out when you finish using apps that require you to login with personal information – like banking and bill pay apps. This will help prevent other users from accessing your information.
Use secure online services for extra protection
Going paperless and using online-only access can help ensure that your accounts stay more secure. Here are ways you can use online services to reduce your risk of fraud.
- Access your accounts online to help you to detect identity crime earlier than if you only received paper statements monthly.
- Set up email alerts for all financial account activity to identify fraud quickly.
- Receive your statements online instead of in the mail to reduce the risk of mail fraud.