Wi-Fi hacking tools, and articles on how to use them, are easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Once someone uses one of those tools to break into a Wi-Fi network that is not password protected, they can observe the activity of anyone else using the network.

Once you break that security you can just run amuck.

This isn’t to say that every coffee shop Wi-Fi network is going to have someone nearby trying to steal your information. However, there is no way to know what dangers are lying in wait in these public internet outlets.

So what can you do to protect yourself while using the free Wi-Fi at your favorite cafe? We recommend a virtual private network, most commonly known as a VPN. These programs give wireless devices a private network to operate on and protect them from any prying eyes on a public network.

If reading about VPNs made your head feel fuzzy, don’t worry there is another safe practice to put into place. When using public Wi-Fi assume everyone else in the building can see your screen. Do not login to your bank account, social media, or any other site with sensitive information.