Stay Safe! How to Prevent Your Devices From Auto-Connecting to Wi-Fi Networks

MakeUseOf | 5/22/2019 | Ben Stockton
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When you’re out and about, it might seem like a good idea to connect to an open Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, this can put your devices and your data at risk. Open Wi-Fi traffic isn’t encrypted, meaning your data can be intercepted while you’re connected.

That’s why it’s important to take precautions to prevent your devices from connecting automatically to open Wi-Fi networks, especially to a network you don’t trust. Now might be a good time to check your Wi-Fi settings before your devices take the decision out of your hands.

Here’s how you can stop it from happening.

If you’re using Windows 10, you won’t connect to any old open Wi-Fi network that your PC detects. If you connect to an open network at least once, however, it’ll save those details and connect you automatically the next time that network is detected.

Connections - Windows

Thankfully, disabling automatic Wi-Fi connections on Windows 10 couldn’t be simpler.

If you prefer to use Windows keyboard shortcuts, start by hitting Win + X on your keyboard. Otherwise, right-clicking the Windows icon on your Windows taskbar will bring up the same menu. From here, select Network Connections > Wi-Fi.

Settings - Area - Manage - Networks - List

In the Wi-Fi settings area, click Manage known networks. In the list of known networks, select your open Wi-Fi network and click Properties.

Click the slide button for Connect automatically when in range from On to Off.

Connections - Future

This’ll prevent any automatic connections in the future.

With macOS, it’s pretty simple to disable auto connections if you’re running High Sierra or Mojave (macOS 10.14). You’ve got three ways you can reach your Wi-Fi connection settings.

Method - Icon - Menu - Bar - Screen

The first method is to click your Wi-Fi icon on the top menu bar of your screen and click Open Network Preferences. The second is to click the Apple icon on your screen (far left) and go to System Preferences > Network. You can...
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