[TIPS] Browsing the Internet Safely On a Smartphone

We are now a very connected population. According to a Pew study, “45% of cell phone owners said that their phone is a smartphone.” Nearly half of the cell phone users in this country are on smartphones, which means they are also accessing the Internet from their phones.

Most smartphone users access the Internet through a 3g or 4g connection from their service provider. Data can be costly though and these networks can also be slow if located in a densely populated area.  So, when there is a free WiFi network available, people typically use it. Did you know that when you are on an unsecured wireless network you can easily be hacked? Follow these tips to keep your information safe and secure while browsing on public WiFi.

1. Download a VPN app on your device. When you are on the Internet, go through the VPN. This will encrypt and secure all of your browsings. What exactly is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

2. Never access sensitive information over an open network without a VPN in place. Do not enter passwords and other sensitive information.

3. Turn on encryption if your phone has the option. How to turn on encryption: iPhone, Samsung Galaxy A quick search on Google for “How to encrypt data on a (your smart phone)” should return directions if your phone supports encryption.

Any other tips for safe Internet browsing via your smartphone? Leave them in the comments. Do you use a VPN app on your phone? Which one do you use?

3 Comments.
  1. Joe

    Question: the safari web browser has a security feature where the padlock displays if the connection is secure. If I go on my bank’s website, for example, I see it’s an https connection with the padlock. They also have their own app, which I assume uses encryption too? Are these examples of safe activities or should one use a VPN even for these?

    What’s an example of something dangerous that we all do that can be hacked? Entering on facebook password?

    And, are you saying that if we don’t use iphone encryption that our contacts can easily be hacked by someone else at the coffee shop?

  2. @Joe,

    The connection between your machine and the wifi router would be insecure. This means anyone with administrative access to the router/local network, would be able to intercept your data if they really wanted to.

    https or SSL connections are not foolproof, because someone may be able to duplicate a cookie on your system, which stores your session information. Using the replicated cookie, the rogue would be able to pretend to be you.

    The 3 steps mentioned above would be the route I’d follow if accessing an critical business data on a public wifi connection.

  3. Anthony

    So, what do you consider to be reliable VPN apps? You are still placing some trust in the people who run the VPN service. How do you know how effectively they are securing their servers, and the data which passes through them?

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