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Securing Wireless Devices in Public

Securing Wireless Devices in Public

Telework has become an essential component of business, and many people are teleworking from home or during travel. While the owners of home networks can take steps to secure those networks, it can be difficult to ensure public networks like those found in hotels, airports, restaurants etc. are secure. Protecting personal and corporate data is essential at all times, but especially when teleworking in public settings.

To ensure data, devices, and login credentials remain secure and uncompromised, cybersecurity is a crucial priority for users and businesses. This includes identifying higher-risk public networks and implementing security best practices while in public settings, whether connecting laptops, tablets, mobile phones, wearable accessories, or other devices with the ability to connect to the internet.

Below is a list of Do’s and Don’ts to protect your wireless devices while in public.

Wireless Devices:

  • Do
    • Keep software and applications updated with the latest patches
    • Use anti-virus/anti-malware software (if applicable)
    • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible
    • Reboot regularly, especially for mobile phones after using untrusted wi-fi
  • Don’t
    • Do not leave them unattended in public settings
    • Do not use personal information in the names of the devices (i.e., John Smith’s Computer)

Public WI-FI:

  • Do
    • Connect to a personal/corporate wireless hotspot with strong authentication and encryption if possible
    • Disable wi-fi when not in use
    • Ensure the device is connecting to the correct network
    • Disable wi-fi network auto-connect
    • If connecting to public wi-fi is necessary, only connect to a secure public wi-fi. (This usually requires a password or other forms of authentication, limiting who can connect)
  • Don’t
    • Do not connect to open wi-fi hotspots
    • Avoid accessing personal data (e.g., bank accounts, medical, etc.)
    • Do not have sensitive conversations
    • Avoid online shopping or financial transactions
    • Do not click unexpected links, attachments, or pop-ups


  • Do
    • Monitor Bluetooth connections by periodically checking what devices are currently connected to the device
    • Disable the Bluetooth feature when it is not being used
    • Ensure the device is not left in discovery mode when Bluetooth is activated, and discovery is not needed
  • Don’t
    • Do not use Bluetooth to communicate passwords or sensitive data
    • Do not accept non-initiated pairing attempts

​​​​​​​Check back for more security best practices and tips.

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