How do I know if a wireless network is secure?


There is no way to guarantee complete security on a wireless network. However, there are precautions you can take to help minimize security risks when you use a wireless network.

  • Whenever possible, only connect to wireless networks that require a network security key or have some other form of security, such as a certificate. The information sent over these networks is encrypted, which can help protect your computer from unauthorized access. When you view available wireless networks in Connect to a Network, wireless networks that do not have security enabled will be identified with a yellow shield icon.

    Picture of Connect to a Network, showing the shield icon on an unsecured network
    Connect to a Network, showing the shield icon on an unsecured network
  • Before you connect to a network provided by a wireless Internet service provider (ISP), such as a public network in a coffee shop or airport, read the privacy statement carefully and make sure that you understand which files, if any, are saved to your computer and what type of information the network provider collects from your computer.

  • If you connect to a network that's not secure, be aware that someone with the right tools can see everything that you do, including the websites you visit, the documents you work on, and the user names and passwords you use. Make sure that you don't work on any company-sensitive information or visit password-protected areas of your business network while you're connected to that network.



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