A common mistake people make when using a public WiFi

public area

It is quite tempting to use the WiFi when it is available publically. But the scary part is that you think you are safe either it’s a big café or a renowned hotel but in reality, it is a major liability. No matter how safe the connection seems to be, you have no idea that your computer is more than vulnerable to hackers. You don’t know who is in charge of the router and who has access to all the data that passes through it. You can protect yourself through a virtual private network obviously but they also need to apply antivirus software in order to defend themselves from strangers.

Still, if you are using public WiFi, even with strongest antivirus software systems, you can lose your personal information. Your computer settings may attract a lot of cyber criminals; therefore, you need to follow few strategies.

File sharing:

File sharing is very convenient as long as you are using personal VPN but on public WiFi, your folders may be vulnerable to anyone connected to the same network. Someone does not need to be a hacker for accessing your files; anyone can find the unguarded files by just running an instant search.

Turning off file sharing on windows by changing the settings as:

Search for the control panel and then click on the best match to open it

Click on the view network status and tasks available under network and the internet

You need to change the advance sharing settings on the next page

Then you need to tick off the Turn off file and printer sharing option under the File and printer sharing:

Tick off the Turn of network discovery

And in the end, save all the changes you have made.

Also, for turning off sharing on Mac you need to:

You need to open up Mac’s system preferences

Click on the sharing icon

Then uncheck the file sharing on the next sharing page

Close the window once you are all set.

You need to switch to you file sharing back on once you get back on your office or home network as none of these services will work unless regular settings are restored.

The Article originally appeared on USA Today