Can you work securely online when not at the office or at home?

You are not at the office or at home, and you want to work on your laptop. A quick connection to the wifi hotspot on the train or in a hotel? Those are not safe. A hacker may be watching your actions on this public internet connection, or even access your laptop. How can you work online as securely as possible, using a wireless internet connection?

Work safely online

A mobile internet connection (4G, 5G) combined with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is your safest option if you want to work online on a wireless internet connection. Hackers will have a hard time trying to access your mobile provider's network, as the connection is often encrypted. VPN adds another security layer. It makes you anonymous on the internet and encrypts your internet traffic. How do you set it up?

Use a mobile wifi hotspot

Turn your smartphone into a mobile wifi hotspot. In your phone settings, search for Wifi hotspot, Mobile hotspot, Personal hotspot, or Tethering. Activate it. Set a password for your hotspot. And, if you have the option: turn on the option to allow only known devices, such as your laptop, to connect. You have now turned your smartphone into a private wifi network for your laptop.

VPN as extra protection

Secure the connection even more by using VPN on your smartphone. You need a subscription with a VPN provider to do so. Install the app from your VPN provider on your smartphone to turn VPN on and off. Considering using a free VPN service? Then take a good look at what other users are saying about it. You want to be sure that the service provider is not reselling your data. And that the free VPN app does not install malware on your smartphone.

The safest option

The safest option is your own smartphone as a mobile WiFi hotspot combined with VPN. Don't have a VPN? Then the safest option is your smartphone as a mobile WiFi hotspot. The least secure option is working online on your laptop via a public WiFi hotspot. Do you have no choice, for example because you don't have mobile internet for a while? Then use such a public hotspot as briefly as possible. And only via VPN software on your laptop.

Finally: working online securely involves more than a safe internet connection. Also think about strong passwords and two-step verification. And protect yourself against malware.

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