Is Coffee Shop Wi-Fi Safe?

By FPL_AdamL

We all wonder what is safe to do with your phone and laptop from time to time. Should I connect to the coffee shop wi-fi? How do I know if an app is safe?

The most frequent question I get from friends is, “The wi-fi at the coffee shop is safe, right?”

The Answer: It depends on the type of activity. It is important to be careful when using a public wi-fi connection. It is possible that somebody nefarious is on the wi-fi and can listen for credit cards, passwords, or just what you might be up to on your device.

There are some things you can do to help keep yourself safe when you do use a public wi-fi. First, see if the website you are accessing is using HTTPS. It’s that S at the end that is important. The S indicates that the website uses secure communications. Secure communication means that only you and that website know what you are sharing.

How do you know if the website is using HTTPS?

Many browsers use a padlock icon to indicate the website is using HTTPS. If you look at the URL (you may need to click or tap on it to see the full version) and see if there is an S at the end of the HTTP.

Personally, I try to just make it a habit to wait until I am on my home wi-fi to make purchases, log into sites, and send sensitive information. However, public wi-fi is great for checking on the score of the game and downloading your library ebook.

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