A question came our way late last night about how safe it is to use free wi-fi at hotels or other public locations. The specific question was can I check my email and Facebook without someone hacking into my account? The specific answer was it depends. :)
Back in March we posted an article describing how “https” worked. If you want the short answer to the question above the answer is yes…you should be safe as long as you use a secured / https connection. To recap for those that never read the previous article, https indicates your connection to the website is secured by exchanging encrypted data. Even if someone is recording the data going back and forth from your computer to the website the data they are recording is all encrypted and unusable.
Most popular websites today offer the ability to use https connections. Facebook, Google and others even have settings to force all connections from the regular http to https automatically. Here is a link to instructions on how to force Facebook to use https.
To put it simply – we don’t recommend typing in passwords or other personal information on any website unless your are using a secured / https connection. We practice what we preach which is why our own Client Area forces https connections too!
Of course we are all using complex passwords that are unique to each site and changed regularly so this shouldn’t matter…right?