“Safe” and “Open” Wi-Fi are relative terms! “Convenient” and “Cheap” is more likely the question people ask themselves deep-down!

Traditionally, the compelling reason for using a Wi-Fi hotspot would be to reduce costs for off-island Jersey tourists that are (still!) subject to excessive roaming mobile data charges.

Entering an internet black hole as soon as they leave the island makes the offer of “Free Wi-Fi” in bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels very inviting to those that simply must stay connected.

However, this issue has become compounded with the advent of ubiquitous local 3G and 4G networks, coupled with good value mobile data tariffs. It is “normal” to be connected at all times.

All the more reason to be wary of open hotspots…Always switch on your local firewall, switch off folder-sharing and network discovery. Be particularly wary of doing any sensitive web browsing that requires personal information, credit card details etc.

It is also strongly recommended that you use a VPN to connect to business applications, and consider employing the use of Multi-Factor Authentication to reduce exposure of your credentials in the worst case scenario.

Hotspots are generally safe to use, as long as a layered approach as described above is taken.