Need Internet access while you are travelling, but don’t want to pay for it? If you’ve got a smartphone, there are lots of free methods and apps that will help you access your favorite sites pretty much anywhere in the world.
Begin by looking for open / unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Simply open your phone’s Wi-Fi settings, and then try to connect to an open network.
This will only work if there’s a decent Wi-Fi signal in the region, of course. Fortunately, there are several apps like WeFi Pro, which will help you discover the fastest free Wi-Fi network in your area. According to its creators, the app includes a database of hundreds of millions of free hotspots.
OK, so maybe you’ve fired up WeFi Pro, but you can’t find any open connections near you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take a stroll! Companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s have franchises in almost every country, so if you can locate one of their coffee shops or restaurants, you should be able to get free Internet access with your coffee.
One word of advice, though: do your best to stay away from the so called free Wi-Fi networks. They claim to represent real businesses, but are in fact set up by hackers who want to get access to your precious files. Often times it’s going to be hard to spot them, because they will use legitimate-looking network names.
According to Data Alliance, those fake hotspots, which are often times found in airports, are in fact peer-to-peer networks that are set up as traps by hackers who may be using their laptops 10 feet away from you.
Sure, the attacker may allow you to access the Internet through his network, but all your information, including user names and passwords, will be made available to him. In addition to this, the hacker may also be able to install malware applications on your smartphone, and then get total control over it.
The risks of connecting your phone to a fake hotspot will significantly decrease if you try to use the free Wi-Fi network provided by a hotel, for example. Often times, Internet access will be protected by a password, but you should simply ask for it.
A library is another safe place when it comes to getting free Wi-Fi access. Very few hackers spend their time at the library, after all. So find a library, connect to its free Wi-Fi network, and then enjoy your favorite websites in a friendly, quiet environment.
By now you should have understood that picking a safe hotspot is essential. Here are a few more rules that should help you stay safe even if you connect to a free Wi-Fi network.
First of all, try to limit your number of activities online. Yes, you are now finally connected to the Internet, but this doesn’t mean that you should behave as if you were connected to your secure home network.
This means that you shouldn’t do anything you’ll live to regret, such as checking your bank account online. Think about the implications: people could steal your Facebook password and you’d still be OK, but things would be very different if they’d manage to drain your bank account.
Once you are back home, it’s time to reset all the passwords. Some villains may have gotten access to your email password, for example, and if you don’t do anything about it, they’ll be able to read all your email, without you knowing about it.
Finally, install and run an antivirus application. There are several free apps that will do a great job, telling you if your smartphone has been infected or not. And some of them will even allow you to clean it for free! Just be sure to pick an antivirus that’s got a lot of positive reviews.