Increasingly, access to the Internet is important for all areas of life.
Whether you’re looking up the best place to have lunch, checking your work email or connecting with friends and family, W-iFi hotspots are a convenient way to stay connected when you’re on the go. Using hotspots also can save you money on your mobile data plan. However, it’s important to be mindful of activities that could put your security at risk.
Here, Brian Lehmer from Cox Communications discusses how to safely connect to hotspots.
How do I know how safe a Wi-Fi hotspot is?
Some hotspots have security settings, while others do not. For example, hotels and coffee shops often require a password before you can connect.
Other security settings may be seen by hovering your mouse over each Wi-Fi connection in your Wi-Fi settings. The name, signal strength and security type will display. WPA2, WPA and WEP are three types of secured connections. Others will say ‘unsecured.’ Once connected, be sure to select ‘Public network’ when prompted to select a network location. This will block some common routes for potential hackers.
How can I protect my information when I connect to a public hotspot?
• Avoid tasks such as paying bills, accessing your bank information, and using your credit card online when using a public hotspot.
• Opt not to save passwords, especially when it comes to your financial accounts, like credit cards and banks.
• Use HTTPS and SSL to make your connection to websites more secure. Both are protocols that provide encrypted communications. Many browsers offer notifications to show enhanced security, such as displaying a padlock next to a website address or turning the address bar a different color.
• Update your device when prompted. Often, these contain security updates to keep your protected.
• Keep Wi-Fi off if you don’t need it.
• Verify that you are connecting to a legitimate connection. For example, Cox enabled Wi-Fi hotspots are named “Cox Wi-Fi” or “Cable Wi-Fi.” In other instances, ask an employee the name of their hotspot before connecting.
Where can I access a hotspot?
Hotspots will be listed in your device’s Wi-Fi settings. Cox customers have access to more than 400,000 hotspots across the United States, including 148 in Balboa Park, 40 new hotspots on the USS Midway and nearly 100 hotspots in Downtown San Diego.
In total, customers can access more than 500 hotspots throughout San Diego County, just find ‘Cox Wi-Fi’ or ‘CableWi-Fi’ in your Wi-Fi settings. Noncustomers are able to access the hotspots by signing up for a free one-hour trial. Find a hotspot at cox.com/hotspots.
How much speed do I need?
The level of speed you need varies on the activities that you use the Internet for. Use the Cox Speed Advisor tool at cox.com/internet to determine what’s best for you.
Cox Wi-Fi hotspots have download speeds of up to 15 Mbps and upload speeds of 4 Mbps.
These can vary and are dependent on the number of devices connected to a hotspot at any given time. Cox High Speed Internet ranges from 15 Mbps up to Gigabit speeds.
I keep hearing about Gigabit speed. What is it?
Gigabit speed is Internet that’s 100 times faster than the average speed. With gigabit speed you can download 100 songs in three seconds, an HD movie in under one minute and upload 1,000 photos in about one minute!
To find out more about Cox’s Gigablast, including whether it’s offered in your area, visit cox.com/gigablast.