Protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi

Learn how to protect yourself from hackers when using open, or unencrypted, public Wi-Fi connections.


Practice these safety tips when using an unsecure Wi-Fi® connection.
  • Avoid connecting to suspicious Wi-Fi networks. Hackers try to trick people by using slightly misspelled Wi-Fi network names, or suspicious network names, like Free PUBLIC WI-FI. Be especially careful to not connect to personal hotspots, or to ad-hoc networks (also known as direct Wi-Fi connections) that you don't know and trust.
  • Use AT&T ActiveArmorSM mobile security1. It helps protect your mobile phone from unsafe apps, files, and nuisance calls. Learn more about the app
  • Select apps that use encryption and have high ratings in your app store. Some apps may contain holes that let hackers access personal and private details on your wireless device.
  • Use strong passwords. Create strong, secure passwords for any services that handle messaging, calling, voicemail, or email through a web browser on your device.
  • Connect through VPN for optimum security. Don’t have VPN? Explore the AT&T ActiveArmor mobile security app
  • Make sure you sign in on the Wi-Fi service provider's authentication page. Watch out for fake Wi-Fi hotspots installed near public hotspots with the same name. These evil-twin hotspots look like the real network sign-in page. If you sign in to a fake look-alike network, your data may be at risk.
  • Know that hackers may be able to monitor your communications. If you are using a hacked network, your personal or private info could be at risk. Use encryption to reduce the risks. Think about what you plan to do before you access a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Learn to manage Wi-Fi on your device. Learn to manage Wi-Fi on your mobile device every time you're in range of a network.
  • Make sure your Web-based email is secure. While your connection may be secure, you should also make sure that your individual email message is also secure.

FYI: When using AT&T Mail, you'll need to turn on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) in webmail to encrypt your entire mail session. This includes the body of the email. If you don’t do this, the content of your emails will remain unsecured, even though your connection is secure.

Turn on SSL in your webmail in just a few steps: Once signed in to your email, select Mail Options from the drop-down menu on the top right of the page. Then, in the General section, select Turn on SSL.
Additional resources

Additional resources

Find more AT&T Wi-Fi protections, and other ways we’ve got your back in the world of data:

See all important details
Last updated: December 7, 2022

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