Is public WiFi really useful?

Use public WiFi networks securely

Pay attention to encrypted pages

In general (even if you are not surfing via a public WLAN hotspot) you should always make sure that a website is encrypted. You can recognize this by the fact that the Internet address of the page begins with "https: //". The S is the decisive clue at this point. Many browsers also indicate encryption by green color or a padlock in the address line.

Deactivate file / directory sharing

Depending on the configuration of the hotspot, your device may be visible to other participants in the same WiFi network. You could then access files on your smartphone, tablet or laptop without you noticing. You should therefore switch off file / directory sharing before dialing into hotspots, if it is active.

Delete saved networks

Devices usually save the networks to which they were connected at some point. This is used to establish a connection again the next time within range of the WLAN network, provided the WLAN module is activated. You should therefore switch off the WLAN module completely if you do not need it. Many smartphones, tablets and laptops offer the option of deleting saved networks in the network settings. You should do that too. Because the name of a WLAN is freely selectable. In this way, fraudsters could create a copy of a known public network. If your device dials into such a copied network, you can be directed unnoticed, for example, to harmful Internet sites.

Set up and use a VPN tunnel

With a VPN tunnel, the data is encrypted and sent through the open WLAN. There are basically two ways of using VPN. Many anti-virus programs offer special VPN programs or VPN apps that the user can install on the mobile device. The second option is for advanced users: You can encrypt your data via a VPN tunnel to your router at home. To do this, the VPN must be activated on the smartphone, tablet or laptop as well as on the "remote station" (e.g. your router at home). Roughly speaking, it then works in such a way that you exchange data between your end device and the remote station that cannot be read in the WLAN network. The remote station is your gateway to everything you do on the Internet.