Many RVers rely on RV park WiFi or other types of public WiFi. For someone trying to steal information, public WiFi is a gold mine, literally. That’s not to say there are hackers waiting at every RV park to steal your information. The opposite is most likely true. Unfortunately, one never knows. The following tips can help you browse safely.Use your own WiFi
Many smart phone plans allow you to turn your smartphone into a hotspot. If you are unsure about your plan, you can always call your wireless carrier for assistance. If you use your own data plan, you are not on public WiFi. This removes all public WiFi vulnerabilities.
Unlimited data plans are becoming more popular which often times eliminates the need to dial into the park’s WiFi, permitted there is decent service in that location. If having an unlimited plan is not in your budget, you can still use this safety measure by only using your phone hotspot when looking at sensitive data such as your bank account or email.There’s no problem with using a public WiFi if you are just perusing the news, weather or general browsing of the web. Hackers are attracted to instances where usernames and passwords are inputted. Chances are you use that same username and password for other things and hackers are all too happy to try them out.
Use Unique Passwords for all Sites
I would bet your bank account balance that some of you reading this have the same password for your bank as you do your email account. If that is true, it is advisable to have a different password for each login.
Bank websites utilize security measures to encrypt your data, so anyone spying on your network activity sees gibberish when you enter your login credentials. Sometimes there are ways around that for a talented hacker, but it is a good extra layer of security.
Let’s take this scenario a little further and after viewing your bank account, you log into a less secure site with the same username and password. A hacker would simply snoop long enough to get the login credentials from the less secure site; then he or she can go to your bank website and try it out. By choosing unique passwords for different sites, you can protect yourself from hackers having access to every site you use.
Use a VPN
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service used most notably for encrypting your traffic. Here is a youtube video that gives a simple explanation of what a VPN does.There are free VPNs and paid VPNs. Using a free service is better than not using one at all. Be aware, free VPNs cover their costs by logging a user’s browsing history and displaying ads. Many paid VPNs do not keep a log of your internet history which helps keep your internet usage private as an added bonus.
There are many VPNs out there; choosing one can be daunting. Fortunately, there are many sites that have compiled a list of favorable ones. Here is one such list: https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403388,00.asp. If you are unsure how to use or setup a VPN, make sure you choose one that has a good customer service line. They can ensure proper setup and security.
The security measures mentioned above are likened to a bulletproof vest. It makes you exponentially safer but not invulnerable. Always monitor your bank accounts and other sensitive accounts for fraudulent activity, and never assume you are 100% protected.