An example of using public Wi-Fi


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An example of using public Wi-Fi

A quiet moment to read emails using a mobile phone

What's coming up

In this activity, we'll look at joining and using a public Wi-Fi network, using an example of someone who wants to read an online newspaper while having a coffee.

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Coffee and the news

Donna is going down to the local coffee shop for a cuppa and to read the paper. Instead of buying a newspaper, Donna is going to use the coffee shop's Wi-Fi and her tablet to read the news online, which will be more up-to-date than a printed newspaper.

Donna loves to use her tablet device to read the news over a cup of coffee
Connecting your device in a cafe with free Wi-Fi is very easy. The instructions are often at the counter or on each table.

Finding the Wi-Fi

At the cafe, Donna sees a small card near the menu that says the shop offers customers free Wi-Fi. The card includes instructions for connecting and mentions the cafe's network name 'Coffee-Wi-Fi'.

The instructions also point out that she won't need to use a password.

Connecting to the Wi-Fi

Donna opens the Wi-Fi settings on her tablet and finds the list of available Wi-Fi networks. There are a few because some of the other shops and offices have Wi-Fi for employees. She doesn't want to join those, so chooses the one called 'Coffee-Wi-Fi'.

Donna chooses the cafe's Wi-Fi network from the list in her tablet device's settings
Donna's tablet has detected she is about to connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network and sends her an alert to tell her


Because this Wi-Fi doesn't have a password, Donna's device will warn that she is connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network and that other users might be able to see what she does online. Donna is aware, so she connects by pressing the 'connect' button and now her tablet is on the internet and ready to browse.

A strange home page

When Donna starts the internet browser on her tablet, her normal search page doesn’t appear. Instead, there's a page with the café's logo. There's some information about the free Wi-Fi, saying she can only use it if she is a customer, and that she’s not allowed to do anything illegal.

There's also fine print saying the cafe is not responsible if Donna gets hacked while using the network, and some information about privacy. Donna clicks the Agree button at the bottom to continue.

Donna's agrees to the terms and conditions of using the cafe's free Wi-Fi
Donna receives a message on her device asking her to pay a bill

Avoid giving personal information

Donna goes to her favourite news website and reads while enjoying a coffee. After a few minutes, her email account sends a new message alert. The message is about a bill she needs to pay which includes a link to pay online.

Donna doesn't pay the bill now because she would need to log in to her bank account. That requires entering her account details and PIN, which is risky to do on a public Wi-Fi network. Donna will be able to pay the bill when she gets home.

Disconnecting from public Wi-Fi

After her coffee, Donna is ready to go. Her tablet will disconnect from the cafe's Wi-Fi when she walks too far away, but it's a good idea to disconnect manually too.

From her tablet's settings, Donna chooses the option to Forget the network. Now her tablet won't connect automatically if she happens to walk past this cafe on another day. You should always avoid situations where your device connects to a public Wi-Fi network without you realising it.

On the next slide, you can watch an example of how to 'forget' a public Wi-Fi network on your device.

Donna chooses to 'forget this network' upon leaving the cafe so that she doesn't accidentally connect to it in the future
Reading the news while enjoying a break in a cafe is a pleasant way to stay up to date


This is the end of the activity An example of using public Wi-Fi. You now have a more detailed idea of how public Wi-Fi works and how to stay safe while using it.

Next up, if you have registered and are logged into the Be Connected website, you'll now be able to take a short quiz to finish the course. If you're not registered, you are now at the end of the course.