Is it safe to use public Wi-Fi?

Many cafes, eateries and shopping centres are providing free wi-fi as a method of attracting customers into their stores. However, little do they know about problems exist in using free wi-fi. These hotspots are an easy target for hackers and they can steal passwords and other valuable information from your device. To avoid hackers from hacking into personal information, some precaution can be taken while using these open hotspots. It is advised that you should turn of sharing, enable firewall on your computer, use SSL whenever possible, use virtual private network, turn of wi-fi when you are not using it and lastly, run a virus scan after using the network.