Minimising Cyber Risks in Public Environments

Numerous remote workers opt for the convenience of working in spaces with free public Wi-Fi. While these locations offer flexibility, it’s crucial to acknowledge the cybersecurity vulnerabilities in these networks that could potentially jeopardise your business.

To strengthen cybersecurity when allowing employees to use public Wi-Fi, consider implementing the following measures:

  • Mandate the use of the organisation’s virtual private network (VPN) when employees are in public spaces.
  • Explore and inform employees about secure mobile hotspot alternatives.
  • Educate employees on how to position themselves in busy areas to safeguard against onlookers.
  • Suggest the use of screen protectors to obscure the display for privacy.
  • Advise employees not to entrust strangers with the security of their belongings when momentarily away.
  • Emphasise the importance of logging out from services and configuring device settings to prevent automatic reconnection to public networks.


QR codes have also become a popular tool for businesses, serving various purposes such as marketing, sales, payments, and customer service. However, the increase in use of QR codes has also attracted cyber-criminals, who use them for phishing attacks and malware distribution. Distinguishing between legitimate and malicious QR codes can be challenging, as both appear as random pixel arrangements within a square. QR codes may lack obvious signs of malicious intent, making visual identification difficult.

To address the rising risks associated with QR codes, businesses should implement the following strategies:

  • Educate employees about the latest cyber-threats related to QR codes.
  • Check QR codes for signs of tampering or alterations before scanning.
  • Exercise caution when scanning QR codes and verify the destination web address.
  • Install security software with content filtering to inspect links, attachments, and block suspicious content.
  • Maintain strict access controls to minimise potential damage if the QR codes login credentials.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of protection to business systems.
  • Advise employees to avoid scanning QR codes if their origin is uncertain.
  • Keep all devices updated and patched regularly.
  • Disable automatic QR code scanning on devices.
  • Review default settings and permissions related to the sharing of sensitive information.

Businesses can enhance protection by adopting practices like using reputable QR code generators, customising codes with company branding, testing codes before distribution, and ensuring linked websites have robust encryption with visible SSL protection indicators.

By incorporating these precautions, you can significantly reduce the exposure of devices to potential cyber threats and QR code risks in public settings.