Whether at home, at work or in a public space: Today you can go online just about anywhere and at any time. This often involves the use of a WLAN.
Protect yourself by...
- only making limited use of unknown WLANs or avoiding them altogether, if at all possible.
- not using public WLANs for e-banking and generally never transferring any confidential data this way.
- whenever possible only connecting to encrypted WLANs.
- using a current encryption method (WPA) with a strong password for your own access point.
Using wireless technology, WLANs offer an extremely flexible, convenient way of connecting to a network and the Internet via a mobile device, without the need to worry about annoying cables. For mobile devices, such as tablets, it is often the only way to connect to the network anyway. This type of connection is also frequently activated on smartphones.
However, using and operating such wireless networks also has some inherent risks which many people are not even aware of.
Using WLAN securely
Apply a “healthy” dose of suspicion when using an unknown WLAN.
If at all possible, connect only to encrypted WLANs (WPA2 or WPA3).
Don’t use public wireless networks for e-banking, and don’t transfer any confidential data across them, for instance via “hotspots” in public spaces (towns, stations, etc.) or hotels.
Use end-to-end encryption for any confidential data, no matter which type of transmission technology you choose.
If possible, deactivate the “connect automatically” function for unknown and unprotected WLANs on your mobile devices.
Operating WLAN securely
Activate a strong type of encryption, at least WPA, or even better WPA2 or WPA3, and make sure you use a strong network key and password.
Change the network SSID if it contains the name of a person, such as a family name, or any information on the router, e.g. its type.
Replace the factory-set router passwords with your own, strong ones.
Activate the MAC filter.
If possible, reduce the transmission power of your WLAN router and switch it off if you don’t need your local wireless network.
You should also take appropriate precautions if you are running your own hot spots on your mobile phone, to prevent any abuse of your mobile Internet connection.