Are Public Wifi Connections Safe?

Question 1: I use a VPN [virtual private network] and understand that once I am on the network my information is encrypted. But, I do not like to sign on to my VPN via a public Wi-Fi because I assume that when signing in to the VPN, my password for my network could be captured. Is the transmission of the VPN password secure? – G.T.

Answer 1: You are correct that if you send a password over an unencrypted connection it can be captured by a hacker. So the most important item here is whether your connection is encrypted or not. If you’re connecting to your VPN through a web browser, see if the URL of the login page begins with http or https. If it is https, the connection is encrypted and your password will not be open to attack. If you connect to the VPN through an app on your smart phone, it should be a secure connection, but you may want to check with your VPN service provider regarding VPNs and your smart phone connections.

Question 2: Is a Public Wi-Fi safe for sign-in? – A.D.

Answer 2: Check the URL for ‘https’. In a URL with “https,” the s means the connection is encrypted and won’t be vulnerable to a hacker.

About Q & A with Dave: Dave answers your questions each Saturday about Windows from cleaning up your Startup Folder, recovering deleted files to the pros and cons of personal technology. Answering reader questions about using technology from help with your laptops, desktops, internet, social media tips and tricks and all things website related. Not sure what you need or how to use it then ask and we will address your question, issue and or problem. Please refrain from questions about anything Apple since we do not service Apple technology and would not want to give out the wrong information. We are looking for a local Apply Guru to add to our Saturday Posts and will let you all know as soon as we fill that role. Email us with your questions and we will post the most interesting every Saturday morning but we will answer all questions and get back to you via your email address. So send us your email questions to:

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