There are secured and unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Data sent between your machine and a secured Wi-Fi infrastructure is encrypted, meaning your network activity appears as gibberish to another person on the network who looks at it. On the other hand, if you use an unsecured network, any third party who’s monitoring your network activity can see the network data in plain text. This is the case with most hotel and restaurant Wi-Fi networks, including ones that require a password.
BYU primarily uses two Wi-Fi networks— Eduroam, which is secured, and BYU Wi-Fi, which is unsecured. Eduroam is a nationwide multi-institutional secured network, meaning that your Eduroam login credentials can get you secure Wi-Fi access at hundreds of other universities and institutions across America. BYU Wi-Fi is primarily for guests who do not have Eduroam credentials. You can learn more about BYU's Wi-Fi networks here.
If you attend or work at BYU, you can log into Eduroam with these credentials:
|Password||your NetID password|
Toggle ItemI have to use unsecured Wi-Fi. What precautions should I take?
In short—only enter sensitive credentials on secured (HTTPS) sites and/or use a VPN.
Try to only use websites that have a secured (HTTPS) connection, indicated by the "https:// URL" prefix. When you use HTTPS sites, anyone who may be monitoring your network activity can only see the domain of the URL you’re visiting; they cannot see what information you enter or which specific pages you visit. For example, Google now defaults to using HTTPS connections. This means that anyone who may be monitoring your network activity can see you’ve visited google.com, but they cannot see what you've searched for.
For maximum Internet privacy, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) whenever you go online, especially when you have to use unsecured Wi-Fi. VPN encrypts all your data so that those monitoring your network can’t even see what sites you’re visiting, let alone any information you enter into them. Any well-reviewed VPN should protect your data; another option is to use BYU's VPN, which you can learn more about here.
Toggle ItemI'm traveling. What precautions should I take?
- Don’t take any personal devices with you that you don’t absolutely need. Rent a laptop or check out a company laptop if possible. Keep your devices with you 100% of the time.
- Completely wipe your devices of all sensitive data like your browser’s logged files (including history and passwords), and use your browser’s private/incognito mode.
- Set up two-factor authentication (such as BYU’s DUO) wherever offered and maintain access to your second factor when traveling.
- Update all operating systems and software to their latest versions.
- Cover cameras and disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth services when not in use.
- Regularly change the passwords you use over the course of the trip, and once more after returning home.
- Scan devices for malware after returning home. BYU recommends Sophos Home.
Toggle ItemHow can I improve the security of my home network?
- Enable secured and password-protected Wi-Fi.
- As of October 2019, WPA2 security is the most secure Wi-Fi security option. When setting up your Wi-Fi's security, research the most secure option.
- Change your router’s default administrator password.
- Regularly update your home software to ensure you have the latest versions.
- Run a firewall on your router and all network devices.
- Many routers and operating systems ship with a built-in router. Make sure these are enabled and configured appropriately. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may be able to assist you with your router’s firewall configuration.
- Regularly run malware and virus scans on your devices and remove unnecessary software.
- Sometimes you inadvertently install malware or other unwanted software. Carefully look through your devices’ software lists and look into the possibility of removing any software that you know you don’t need and/or looks suspicious.