Bad guys listening in? Take steps to avoid public Wi-Fi snooping

“‘What is the best way to secure my MacBook Pro from hackers when I’m logged into public Wi-Fi?'” Christopher Breen writes for Macworld.

“If you don’t want to provide people access to your Mac, you should shut any doors that provide it,” Breen writes. “To start, go to System Preferences > Sharing and turn off any sharing options you have enabled — file sharing and screen sharing, for example.”

“Or you could forego this Wi-Fi connection entirely and instead use another hotspot,” Breen writes. “Your iPhone could be just the thing if you’ve paid for a tethering plan. Yosemite’s Instant Hotspot feature makes this really easy.”

More tips for securing your data in public in the full article – recommended – here.


  1. Hotspot on iPhone has been available for a long time and is the only way to go.

    It is also often faster on LTE than my typical Starbucks WiFi.

    By the way, If you put Little Snitch on your MacBook and then sign onto Starbucks WiFi, you will see them seeking access to send out information to over a dozen various tracking and advertising and profiling companies.

    Welcome to Big Brother right on the “free WiFi.”

    Win Win!

      1. Well, let me note that Google is firmly on top of Starbucks on the WiFi bed, as you will easily see with Little Snitch.

        (am currently on LTE on iPhone 5s about 300 kb/sec with one bar reception.

  2. Horrible advice! Sure you could disconnect entirely from the Interwebs. Or you could make sure unnecessary ports are not open and only use secure credentials for the ports & services that you do require.

    1. Even with all that, & I’m not an expert, I see data from public WiFi hotspots going out to strangely named URLs or URLs w/no obvious company behind them when I watch Little Snitch.

      I don’t trust these bastards.

  3. Just get LTE on a generous plan. Public wifi is like a public lavatory- if you don’t take preventive steps then you really have no one to blame but yourself when you end up with pubic lice or some other form of knob rot.

    1. Yup, when you click that “Accept” button at Starbucks, you have no idea who you just got in bed with and reading the EULA doesn’t tell you.

      EULA’s are just a means for the provider to rip off data with dozens of pages of legal crap no customer of Starbucks will likely ever read, let alone understand what it means.

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