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Tourists urged to avoid using airport’s free service to stay safe | Travel News | Travel

The business broadband and phoneline provider Bionic has suggested a number of tips that can help tourists stay safe whilst using airport wi-fi.

With many passengers arriving several hours before their flight is ready to depart, one of the most common things to do during the wait is connect up to the airport’s public wi-fi to share some holiday snaps or reach out to loved ones.

Les Roberts, connectivity expert at Bionic, noted that, whilst no public wi-fi network can ever be completely risk-free, there are many measures that can help tourists stay safe.

He advised: “It’s important to understand that no wi-fi network is completely risk-free and the safety of your personal information depends considerably on what kind of wi-fi network you’re using.

“General security measures such as avoiding the same passwords across multiple sites could be your biggest saviour if all else fails, although it’s still important to take care and refrain from sensitive transactions or confidential conversations until you can access a secure and trusted connection.”

Firstly, Bionic suggested that all tourists who are using a public wi-fi network use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which can make it more difficult for others to intercept their data.

VPNs are used to encrypt the internet connection that the device is connecting to, preventing those also connected to the wi-fi from accessing sensitive information such as banking information or work emails.

Whilst it is possible to get a free VPN, some companies offer the best security possible on a monthly or yearly subscription basis.

In addition, the company warned that internet users should be cautious about the sites that they visit, warning that not all are secure.

Before heading onto a website, tourists should make sure that the start of the URL reads ‘HTTPS’, rather than ‘HTTP’, and features a padlock icon in the search bar.

This is because standard ‘HTTP’ websites do not encrypt their data, meaning information inputted by users, including credit card information, could be accessed by a third party.

In the event of any issues or suspicious signs, Les recommended that tourists immediately disconnect from the wi-fi and alter their security.

He added: “If you do find your device is slow, there are unexpected pop-ups, or unfamiliar processes running in the background, it’s a likely sign of malicious malware or a hacking attempt.

“In this instance, disconnect from the internet immediately, run an antimalware scan and change your passwords.”

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