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Before You Use the Public Wi-Fi, Read This

Is public Wi-Fi safe? Hell, no. But there are steps you can take.

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This story appears in the November 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Is public Wi-Fi safe? The short answer: Hell, no. But if you must use the free wireless at your hotel or the satellite office (i.e., Starbucks), here are some precautions you should take.

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Keep it impersonal. Never online-bank via public wi-fi. Obvious, right? But you shouldn't even check email -- that can give hackers access to a trove of personal info. This applies even to secure websites, those with https (hypertext transfer protocol secure) in the URL. "Public hotspots are susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks" -- where the hacker intercepts communications -- "which will strip out the "secure' part of https," warns David Lee, a product manager for mobile at security software company Norton.

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