Protect yourself with secure WiFi

Secure U

Using a secure WiFi connection, like eduroam while on campus at the University of Minnesota, ensures your device is less susceptible to attack and your online activities are more protected.

When you’re surfing on an unsecure or public WiFi connection, cyber criminals may try to gain access to your device and attempt to view or copy your banking, online shopping, or social media IDs and passwords, monitor your internet activity, intercept your file transfers, or other illegal activities.

Some crafty criminals set up false WiFi hotspots meant to look official (such as “Coffee Shop WiFi Network”) but your online activity is being monitored by the bad guys. They could be copying your keystrokes and collecting usernames, passwords, financial information, and more. They could also use this voluntary connection to spread malware or viruses directly to your devices.

Whether you’re at home or away, there are several things you can do to browse securely:

  • Choose carefully which WiFi network to connect to. If the coffee shop you’re at has a secure connection, ask for the password.
  • Configure your personal devices to ask permission before connecting to WiFi networks.
  • Turn off automatic connectivity (and Bluetooth, which can easily be toggled on and off), especially when traveling, so you can carefully choose a secure WiFi network.
  • When accessing University resources or files, use the University of Minnesota’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connected to networks not protected by a password.
  • Be aware of any associated terms and conditions when logging onto a public or free network.
  • Consider waiting to access your private data, such as financial or medical information, until you have a secure connection.
  • Beware of associated fees when logging into a network, such as at the airport or at a hotel.
  • Make sure your home WiFi network is private and set a strong passphrase to protect your connection.