01 Jul 2015

Tech Tip: Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks While Traveling

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For fiduciaries, while keeping up with work when traveling has become a necessity, it has also become much easier. Cloud-based technologies such as CaseLink Web make it simple to access work on-the-go, and a well-equipped laptop can make mobile work a breeze. However, public Wi-Fi networks present security hazards and should be avoided while traveling.

Hotels, coffee shops, convention centers, and airports often provide Wi-Fi service as a free or paid consumer service. More often than not, these public Wi-Fi networks are not secure and can expose your personal information, including account IDs and passwords, if they are used. While these public networks or hotspots are convenient, they are not worth the risk.

But what if you need to use a Wi-Fi network while traveling? You do have options. First, you will need to seek out a secure Wi-Fi network that is password protected. An easy way to determine whether the network is secure is when signing on to the network. If it is secure, you will be asked to enter a WPA or WPA2 password. Look for the words “WPA” or “WPA2” at sign-in.

If you have a mobile device that allows you to switch back and forth between your cellphone network and a Wi-Fi connection, it’s best to use your cellphone network while traveling. If you decide to log in to a secure wireless network while you’re away—whether you’re on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop—make sure you log out at the end of your session. Don’t stay connected indefinitely.

Finally, consider setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that can allow you to connect to your firm or to BMS servers through a secure connection while you travel. VPN technology is available for phones and tablets as well as laptops. While these set-ups have a cost and need to be installed and configured before you travel, they will keep you protected while allowing you to perform a variety of online activities while you’re out of the office.

If you have any questions, please contact the Hardware Support Technicians at the BMS Support Center for assistance.