Starbucks, McDonalds or Flixbus. They all offer free and public WLAN for Internet access. First and foremost, of course, this is a marketing scam to attract customers – how often do you read about people who only go to Starbucks for free Internet access on holiday? Right – very often, and the concept works.

Actually this is a good thing, you can check your e-mails, send holiday greetings or transfer some money to your credit card during a coffee break. But how secure are these public hotspots?

Not at all! The access is not encrypted and therefore represents an enormous risk for you and your data.

Due to the unencrypted transmission, the wireless network traffic can be read from anywhere in the vicinity. Often the devices are not even isolated from each other, which means you can even reach other notebooks or mobile phones directly via the WLAN. This is the case, for example, with the WLAN of Deutsche Bahn (WIFIonICE). There I can be indicated, who is still so everything in the net. Often one discovers iPhones that kindly give the name of the owner („iPhone by Martin“) or computers that can be assigned to a big car manufacturer from Wolfsburg thanks to the name.

How can you protect yourself in such Networks?

There are different ways to protect yourself, depending on the purpose and necessity.

Many websites are now taking the step of offering an SSL encrypted connection via HTTPS, the previously expensive certificates are now provided free of charge by providers such as StartSSL or Let’s Encrypt.

However, the websites are accessible via HTTPS, but HTTP is still used by default. Here browser plugins like HTTPS Everywhere help to be on the safe side and always establish a HTTPS connection.

If you want to go one step further, you have to transfer your traffic over an encrypted connection. Using a secure browser solution, all traffic can be sent encrypted to the gateway and then to the Internet.

With Soltion Secure Browser (SSB) you can access either internal company resources (intranet, CRM, file sharing), cloud services or the Internet. The Internet access can be regulated via the company proxy in order to always comply with compliance guidelines.

The SSB represents a cross-platform solution for secure access, with which you can comfortably protect your users. Even documents downloaded by your users remain in the container and cannot attack the operating system. Word or Excel documents that distribute viruses such as Locky cannot do any harm.

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